United, Continental Announce New Leadership for Combined Airline
Continental Airlines and United Airlines on Tuesday announced a new leadership team of the combined airline, reporting directly to current Continental CEO Jeff Smisek, who will serve as president and chief executive officer of the new airline.
In a statement, the companies said the new leadership includes Mike Bonds who will be responsible for human resources and labor relations, Jim Compton as chief marketing officer, Jeff Foland responsible for the combined carrier’s loyalty program, Nene Foxhall as the communications and government affairs officer, Keith Halbert as chief information officer, Pete McDonald as chief operations officer, Zane Rowe as chief financial officer and Tom Sabatino as general counsel.
The companies also said that Glenn Tilton, chairman and CEO of United, will serve as non-executive chairman of the combined airline. “We have equally talented people who will continue to contribute to successfully executing our individual performance agendas,” said Tilton.
In May, United agreed to buy Continental in a $3 billion deal, creating a combined airline based in Chicago that will fly to 370 destinations in 59 countries.
Also on Tuesday, the airlines announced they had received unconditional clearance from the European Commission on the proposed merger. The Commission noted its investigation found the proposed transaction would not raise any specific concerns in Europe or the trans-Atlantic.
“We are pleased to have received this clearance from the European Union, a significant market for our combined new company, and we continue to work cooperatively with the U.S Department of Justice toward an expeditious completion of our merger, which will benefit our customers, our people, our shareholders and the communities we serve,” said Tilton.
Smisek said the approval from the European Commission is another important step toward completing its merger with United. “The combination of United and Continental brings together the two most complementary networks of any U.S. carriers, with minimal domestic and no international route overlaps. Together we will offer customers unparalleled global access,” he said.
The companies expect the merger to close before year-end.