Embattled aerospace giant Boeing announced Dec. 26 that J. Michael Luttig has informed the board of directors of his “long-considered” retirement at year end.
Luttig, counselor and senior advisor to the Boeing board, served as the company’s general counsel from 2006 until assuming his current responsibilities in May 2019.
The announcement of Luttig’s retirement came the same week Dennis Muilenburg resigned from his positions as chief executive officer and board director at Boeing amid criticism of the company’s handling of two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft. Chairman David Calhoun will take over as chief executive officer and president, effective Jan. 13, while Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the transition period.
“The Board of Directors decided that a change in leadership was necessary to restore confidence in the Company moving forward as it works to repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders,” Boeing said in a press release.
Earlier in December, Boeing announced suspended production of the 737 Max, which has been grounded the last nine months following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March, beginning in January.
Luttig has been managing legal matters associated with the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accident, as well as the Lion Air Flight 610 crash that preceded it in October 2018, and advising the board on strategic matters during that time.
“It has been an honor to serve as Boeing’s General Counsel and as Counselor and Senior Advisor to the Boeing Board of Directors,” said Luttig in a press release. “I will be eternally grateful to The Boeing Company, to the Boeing Board of Directors, to CEOs Dennis Muilenburg and Jim McNerney, and to former Lead Director Ken Duberstein for the opportunity and the privilege to serve this great company and the extraordinary men and women who, together, are The Boeing Company. My respect and admiration for these very special men and women—whom I am proud to call my friends—and for The Boeing Company, is endless.”
Luttig joined Boeing after serving 15 years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. His previous experience includes serving as assistant attorney general and counselor to the attorney general of the United States and working at the White House from 1981-82 under President Ronald Reagan.