United Airlines CEO to step down

Oscar Munoz, the Chief Executive Officer of the United Airlines, is stepping down in May 2020, to be replaced by J. Scott Kirby, the U.S. legacy carrier announced on December 5, 2019. 

After leaving the CEO duties, Munoz will take up executive chairman role at United board of directors for a one year term. Besides leading the board, Munoz will continue to work “shaping United’s employee and customer-centric culture,” according to the airline’s statement.

Kirby, who is succeeding Munoz as United Airlines CEO, has been working for the airline since 2016 and has played a “pivotal role in enabling United’s cultural transformation and successfully executing the company’s strategic growth plan.”

All of the changes will take effect on May 20, 2020.

It is unclear if United Airlines statement highlights the impact of both men for the company’s “customer-centric culture” and “cultural transformation” accidentally or not. However, United Airlines culture and Munoz’ leadership have been harshly criticized following a passenger dragging incident in 2017. 

The disturbing video footage showing a man screaming as security officers were forcefully pulling him out from his seat and dragging out of the cabin was captured by United Airlines passengers on April 9, 2017, and instantly went viral. The incident, which happened on United’s flight number 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, has made United the synonym word for “bad treatment of passengers”. However, despite harsh criticism and mocking, the incident did not affect the airline’s financial performance in the following months.


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