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Under Fire After Pair of Crashes, Filing Shows Boeing CEO's 27% Raise Brought Pay to $23.4 Million in 2018

Dennis Muilenburg's raise comes amid a broader trend of soaring CEO pay after Trump's tax cuts, which helped bring the pay of top executives to $1 million per month.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing's chairman and CEO, was rewarded a 27 percent pay hike in 2018, raising his total compensation to $23.4 million. (Photo: Getty Images)

As the aerospace giant and weapons manufacturer Boeing faces international outrage and government scrutiny following two deadly plane crashes in the last five months, financial filings showed the company's chief executive received a 27 percent raise in 2018.

Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing's chairman and CEO, brought home $23.4 million in total compensation last year, up from $18.5 million the previous year. When stock options are included, Muilenburg pulled in around $30 million, according to Boeing's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

Muilenburg's raise is part of a broader trend of soaring CEO pay following President Donald Trump's $1.5 trillion in tax cuts, which disproportionately benefited the wealthiest Americans.

According to a Wall Street Journal analysis on published Sunday, the median pay of 132 top CEOs climbed to $1 million per month in 2018.

News of Muilenburg's raise, first reported by the Seattle Times, comes just a week after one of Boeing's 737 Max 8 airplanes crashed in Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

Following an investigation, Ethiopia's transport minister said data from the crash showed "a clear similarity" with a 737 Max 8 wreck in Indonesia that killed 189 people last October.


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Since the deadly crash in Ethiopia, nations around the world—including, belatedly, the United States—grounded the 737 Max 8 model, despite Muilenburg's insistence that the planes are safe.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is investigating the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) approval of Boeing's 737 Max 8 airliners.

As the Seattle Times reported on Sunday, FAA managers "pushed the agency's safety engineers to delegate safety assessments to Boeing itself, and to speedily approve the resulting analysis."

The rush to approve the 737 Max model resulted in a number of "crucial flaws" in the safety analysis, the Times reported, citing anonymous FAA officials.

According to the Times, "technical experts inside the FAA said October's Lion Air crash, where the [flight control system] has been clearly implicated by investigators in Indonesia, is only the latest indicator that the agency's delegation of airplane certification has gone too far, and that it's inappropriate for Boeing employees to have so much authority over safety analyses of Boeing jets."

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