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United Airlines Announces 2020 Leadership Changes, Scott Kirby to Become CEO

Updated: Jan 11, 2020

United Airlines announced Thursday that CEO Oscar Munoz will transition to Executive Chairman of the Board, while company President, J. Scott Kirby will become CEO. The changes will take effect in May 2020.

(L) United CEO Oscar Munoz (R) United President J. Scott Kirby - Courtesy United Airlines

Today, United Airlines announced a c-suite change that will take place in May 2020 with company CEO Oscar Munoz transitioning to Executive Chairman of the Board and airline President J. Scott Kirby taking the reigns as CEO. Mr. Munoz has successfully transformed United’s culture while leading the company to new levels of excellence in operational and financial performance. In Thursday’s announcement, United Airlines CEO, Oscar Munoz said,

“With United in a stronger position than ever, now is the right time to begin the process of passing the baton to a new leader. One of my goals as CEO was to put in place a successful leadership transition for United Airlines. I brought Scott to United three years ago and am confident that there is no one in the world better equipped to lead United to even greater heights. It has been the honor of my career to lead the 95,000 dedicated professionals who serve United’s customers every day. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Scott in the months ahead and supporting the company’s ongoing success in my new role.”

Mr. Kirby was recruited by United CEO Oscar Munoz in August 2016 and has three decades of experience in the commercial airline business. Also commenting on today’s announcement, United’s President, J. Scott Kirby added,

"I am honored to be named the next CEO of United and to succeed Oscar, whose leadership has been truly transformational for United Airlines. I look forward to working with Oscar, the Board, our established leadership team and every United employee as we drive forward our proven strategy and focus on being the airline customers choose to fly and return to time and again.”

United’s current Chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the Board of Directors in May 2020. Ms. Garvey has served for over a decade and has been Chairman since May 2018, remaining in her position a year beyond the mandatory Board retirement age. In Today's announcement, Ms. Garvey said,

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I cannot thank Oscar enough for his outstanding leadership and commitment to United, and we are pleased that we will continue to benefit from his expertise and experience in his role as Executive Chairman. Oscar became the CEO at one of the most challenging points in United’s history, and his focus on putting customers and employees first has transformed United’s culture today and successfully positioned the company for tomorrow. One of Oscar’s greatest legacies is the best-in-class leadership team he has built, and we have full confidence that Scott is the ideal candidate to lead United into the bright future that lies ahead.”

United also announced today that Ted Philip will become the Lead Independent Director on the company Board after the May 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Mr. Philip joined the Board in 2016 as the chair of the Nominating/Governance committee and serves on the Boards of Hasbro and BRP, Inc. All announced changes will take place in May 2020 and Mr. Munoz will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board for a one-year term.

Source: United Airlines


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