Aviation News

September 8, 2015

Developing: Smisek Out Amidst United Airlines Management Shakeup

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Written by: NYCAviation Staff
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After the close of the markets on Tuesday, United Airlines announced a major shakeup in its executive ranks. Chairman, president, and chief executive officer Jeff Smisek is out. Also leaving is executive vice president of communications and government affairs Irene Foxhall and senior vice president of corporate and government affairs Mark R. Anderson. The changes are effective immediately.

_MG_2820-mediumThe departures are linked to the ongoing internal and federal investigations into improper dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ). The investigations revolve around flights the airline operated between its hub at PANYNJ’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) in Columbia, South Carolina. David Samson, the former chairman of PANYNJ, maintained a vacation home about 50 miles from the South Carolina airport. The airline allegedly operated the flights at a loss, in an attempt to curry favor with the Port Authority chairman. The route was abruptly discontinued just days after Samson left the agency.

Replacing Smisek as president and chief executive officer is Oscar Munoz. Munoz most recently served as president and chief operating officer of rail giant CSX Corporation. Munoz previously worked for such international brands as AT&T, Coca Cola, and Pepsico. Munoz’s airline experience dates back to 2004, when he joined the board of directors of Continental Airlines. When United and Continental merged to form United Continental Holdings in 2010, Munoz became a part of the combined board of directors. Ousted CEO Smisek was also formerly the CEO of Continental Airlines.

Henry L. Meyer III has been appointed as non-executive chairman of the board of directors. Meyer was previously United’s lead independent director.


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