The company said this month it would suspend production of the MAX in January.Speculation that Muilenburg would be fired had been circulating in the industry for months, intensifying in October when the board stripped him of his chairman title.

Board member Lawrence Kellner will become non-executive chairman of the board effective immediately, the company said. Chief Financial Officer Greg Smith will serve as interim CEO during the brief transition period.

Boeing said its board of directors made the change to “repair relationships with regulators, customers, and all other stakeholders.”

Southwest and American have balanced a need for airplanes.

With public concerns since the Max grounded in March after crashes that killed 346 people in Indonesia and Ethiopia.