Boeing Co. stripped Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg of his role as chairman, saying the move would enable him to focus on guiding the company out of the crisis engulfing its grounded 737 Max jetliner.

Lead director David Calhoun, a former boss of General Electric Co.’s aviation division, will take over as non-executive chairman, Boeing said in a statement Friday.

Muilenburg faces increased scrutiny as the global flying ban on the Max nears the seven-month mark with little clarity on when the plane will return to service. The Max, Boeing’s best-selling jet, was grounded in March after two deadly crashes.

“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,” Calhoun said in the statement. “The board also plans in the near term to name a new director with deep safety experience and expertise to serve on the board and its newly established Aerospace Safety Committee.”