United Continental Holdings, which runs US mega-carrier United Airlines, has named Brett J. Hart, the airline’s executive vice president and general counsel, as acting chief executive.Hart takes over management of the airline while new chief executive Oscar Munoz recuperates from the heart attack he suffered on Thursday, only weeks into his new job. (See: Another blow to airline as new CEO suffers heart attack).
A statement issued by the airline quoted Hart saying: “Oscar’s agenda is focused on customer service, teamwork and innovation and I, along with the executive team, will continue to move quickly to implement it. We believe strongly that we can continue to make steady progress on increasing shareholder value by working together to deliver a great product to our customers.”
According to United, the board of directors remains actively engaged in preparing for all potential outcomes regarding the company’s leadership.
Munoz took over the top job at United Continental Holdings on 8 September 2015
after the airline ousted the previous chief executive, Jeff Smisek.
United has faced industrial relations problems since its merger with Continental in 2010 and Munoz has pledged to fix them.
Munoz was the focus of a drive by United to repair its reputation. In an email to MileagePlus members, Munoz said “we can do better.” United took out full-page ads in US newspapers and put Munoz on YouTube.
Written by Peter Needham