Boeing changes executive in charge of the 737 Max factory

Crucial flight-control software on the Boeing 737 Max is suspected of playing a role in the crash of a Lion Air jet in Indonesia and of an Ethiopian Airlines Max. (Source: Boeing/MGN)
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CHICAGO (AP) - The executive who manages the Boeing 737 Max program and the Seattle-area factory where the now-grounded plane is built is retiring.

Eric Lindblad has been in the job less than a year, taking over as Boeing struggled with shortages of engines and fuselages from suppliers.

A Boeing spokesman said Thursday Lindblad's retirement was long planned and is unrelated to two Max accidents.

Lindblad will be replaced by Mark Jenks, a vice president overseeing possible development of a new mid-size plane. Jenks previously managed the Boeing 787 program.

The 737 Max was grounded in March after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia killed 346 people. Preliminary reports highlighted the role of new flight-control software that pushed the planes' noses down. Boeing hopes to submit a fix to federal safety regulators in September.

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