With an aim to manage the 737 MAX crisis, the US aerospace major Boeing on Friday announced that the Dennis Muilenburg will remain as the Chief Executive Officer of the company but step down as the Chairman.

The company claims that the unexpected decision would allow Muilenburg to focus on running the company as the company works to return the 737 MAX fleet back to service. The 737 MAX fleet was grounded in March after two deadly plane crashes that claimed a total of 346 lives.

The decision came hours after the air-safety experts criticized Boeing the US Federal Aviation Administration for missteps that resulted in airplane crashes.

David Calhoun, a senior Blackstone Group Inc. executive, who has been the lead director of Boeing’s board will serve as the non-executive chairman.

In a statement Calhoun said, the board said it has full confidence in Dennis and believes that the division of labour would help him focus on running the business with the board playing an active oversight role.

Meanwhile, Muilenburg said that he supported the board’s decision and wishes for a safe return of the MAX fleet to service.

Around 5-month long grounding period of MAX has surely affected Boeing’s plans. The company is considering additional cuts to production or temporarily shutting down MAX assembly at the Renton, Washington, plant where the airplane is built.

The company is aiming for regularity approval for the fleet’s return to service this year along with several upgrades. But the giant aerospace company has noted that the final call will be made by the government authorities only.

Recently, the international aviation regulators criticized the US Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) certification of the MAX. It said that the governmental body lacked the required manpower and expertise to evaluate the changes made on the plane.

(With input from agencies)