CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg will come face-to-face with shareholders on Monday, for the first time since two fatal crashes led to hundreds of deaths.
The company’s annual shareholders meeting will be held Monday at the Field Museum.
Boeing is under increased pressure to deliver a software fix for its grounded 737 Max aircraft, to convince the FAA and the flying public the planes are safe to fly again.
A Boeing shareholder has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the company of defrauding investors by not disclosing safety issues on the 737 Max.
Southwest Airlines also has said Boeing did not disclose it had deactivated a safety feature on its 737 Max jets until after the deadly Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October. A sensor known as an “angle of attack” indicator alerts pilots if a sensor is providing bad data about the pitch of the plane’s nose. Those sensors had been operational in previous versions of 737 planes, but were switched off on the 737 Max.
According to Southwest, the safety feature was “depicted to us by Boeing as operable on all Max aircraft.” Only after a Lion Air 737 Max crashed in Indonesia last Oct. 29 did Boeing say the feature wasn’t turned on, Southwest said.
Five months after the Lion Air crash, an Ethiopian Airlines jet crashed.
More than 300 people were killed in the two crashes. Within days of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the FAA and other regulators around the world grounded all 737 Max planes.
Officials believe, in both deadly crashes, faulty information from a sensor caused the anti-stall software to push the nose of the plane down. Pilots followed Boeing’s procedures for that situation, but couldn’t regain control of the plane.
Since the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Boeing said the company has lost at least $1 billion as it scrambles to come up with a software fix for its 737 Max planes.
At Monday’s shareholders meeting, Muilenburg will have to answer questions about what the company did and did not tell airlines and investors about safety features on 737 max jet.
Muilenburg is trying to get investors to buy into the future of Boeing as questions about safety continue.
In addition to the shareholder lawsuit, Boeing has been named as a defendant in growing number of wrongful death lawsuits filed by families of passengers killed in a Lion Air crash off the coast of Indonesia on October 29 and an Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10. All 346 aboard the two flights died.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)