And he may not have much time to do what needs to be done.
It is not clear whether this is a guideline or just established practice in the company. Company officials would not comment on this question. However, some external observers do not believe that Calhoun will counteract this trend and continue in the role from the age of 66.
"I think how the situation has developed, he seems to be in a better position as caretaker," said Epstein.
One employee described the jet as "designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys". Two other employees agreed that they would not allow their family members to fly on the plane. Boeing's publication of the documents included an apology to the FAA, Congress, the airlines and their passengers.
"Probably the most important bridges that need to be built right now are the regulators and airlines. These are the relationships that have been most hurt," said Epstein.
Turn things around
The good news is that the company is big enough and financially healthy enough to weather the crisis. As of September 30, the company had cash of $ 10.9 billion and sufficient credit to raise additional funds on the capital markets as needed.
And perhaps the biggest advantage for Boeing is that there is really no alternative to its survival.
And both companies have such a large order backlog for their jets that if they dropped an order for the 737 Max and replaced it with an order for an Airbus A320, an airline would have to wait years to get the aircraft they needed.
But that does not mean that Boeing's finances are not affected by the crisis.
"An important task"
Despite the many challenges that await Calhoun, the position of Boeing CEO appears to have been one that has interested him for some time.
Calhoun has been on the Boeing Board of Directors since 2009. According to Richard Aboulafia, aerospace analyst at Teal Group, Calhoun was an external candidate for the position of CEO of Boeing in 2015 when the board instead attacked Muilenburg, then a 30-year-old veteran of the company. Have company spokesman not comment on whether he had been a candidate.
Calhoun has been a member of the Boeing board of directors and a number of other corporate directors for the past ten years, although he's been in the process of leaving his other positions since he was appointed CEO.
"It is a difficult and important task. We believe that he can master it. It is a win," he said in an interview on CNBC. However, he also made it clear that the line would be short.
"The board advises every single meeting on the topic of our executives and how well they are doing and whether they have our trust," Calhoun said at the time.
This is a reality that he has to think about when he becomes CEO.