efe-epaBy Andrew Tangel New York

Boeing Co.'s board stripped Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg of his dual role as chairman on Friday in an unexpected shake-up at the highest ranks of the company amid the prolonged crisis of its 737 MAX plane.

Boeing said it took the action to allow Muilenburg to focus on running the company as it returns the MAX fleet to service after it was grounded world-wide in March following two fatal crashes in less than five months, according to EFE/Dow Jones. EFE-EPA