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Jeff Smisek Resigns and Oscar Munoz Becomes New CEO of United

Effective immediately, United Continental Holdings Inc. said that Jeff Smisek will resign from his position as chairman, president, chief executive officer, and as a director. In replacement, the company has appointed Oscar Munoz as president, chief executive officer, and as a board director.

In a statement, United also said that Henry Meyer, the lead independent director, will serve as non-executive chairman of the board of directors.

As of September 8th, Oscar Munoz is the CEO of United. (Photo provided by United Continental Holdings).

As of September 8th, Oscar Munoz is the CEO of United. (Photo provided by United Continental Holdings).

Meyer said the following about Munoz, “Oscar’s track record demonstrates that he has the right blend of strategic vision and strong leadership to continue United’s upward trajectory.”

Prior to working at United, Munoz served as the president and chief operating officer of the CSX Corporation. In addition, he has served in high-level positions at sizable consumer brands such as Coca-Cola and AT&T.

Oscar has served on the board of directors for United Continental Holdings. since 2010 and served on the board of directors for Continental Airlines since 2004. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Smisek, the former chairman’s, resignation is linked with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s investigation regarding the company. The attorney’s office in New Jersey is investigating whether United employees made improper attempts to influence port authority officials, according to a Bloomberg report. This investigation is not expected to affect normal operations.

Munoz said he would spend the first few months travelling the system visiting the company’s employees. As the announcement was made, the new CEO sent a letter to the employees. He said, “I took this job because I am excited by what we can do together.”

With a refreshed management team, United may have a brighter future, despite a turbulent few years.

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  • Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport operations and customer service while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with pursuing a concurrent MBA and law program. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. In addition to supporting AirlineGeeks, Ryan works full-time in the aviation industry.

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