Boeing's board of directors has stripped the board chair role from chief executive Dennis Muilenburg, a move the company says will enable Muilenburg to focus on running the crisis-wracked company. It has appointed nine-year director David Calhoun, a Blackstone Group executive and former General Elective executive, as board chair. The move comes amid industry speculation that Boeing might shake up its senior management team as it works to recover from the 737 Max crisis. "Splitting the chairman and CEO roles will enable Muilenburg to focus full time on running the company as it works to return the 737 Max safely to service, ensure full support to Boeing's customers around the world and implement changes to sharpen Boeing's focus on product and services safety," says a Boeing media release. "This decision is the latest of several actions by the board of directors and Boeing senior leadership to strengthen the company's governance and safety management processes." "The board has full confidence in Dennis as CEO and believes this division of labor will enable maximum focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role," new board chair Calhoun says in the release. The board intends to soon appoint a new director with safety experience to serve on the board's newly-formed Aerospace Safety Committee, Calhoun says. Muilenburg says he is "fully supportive of the board's action. Our entire team is laser-focused on returning the 737 Max safely to service and delivering on the full breadth of our company's commitments".