United Airlines CEO Munoz Won’t Become Chairman As Planned, Compensation to be Tied to Improved Customer Satisfaction

By Paul Riegler on 21 April 2017
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United CEO Oscar Munoz

United CEO Oscar Munoz

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz won’t assume the position of chairman of the company’s board of directors next year, following several highly publicized incidents that have damaged the reputation of the company.

The airline’s parent corporation, United-Continental Holdings, said in a regulatory finding late Friday that Munoz has requested that his employment agreement be modified to leave “future determinations related to the Chairman position to the discretion of the board.”

“The Board believes that separating the roles of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board is the most appropriate structure at this time,” the airline said in the filing. “Having an independent Chairman of the Board is a means to ensure that Mr. Munoz is able to more exclusively focus on his role as Chief Executive Officer.”

The Chicago-based airline has made the headlines several times in recent weeks, first with the highly publicized “leggings” incident where an unrelated third party chastised the airline on social media for denying passage to two teenage girls who were wearing the close-fitting garments not knowing the two were traveling on employee passes and subject to the airline’s dress code. The second incident saw a middle-aged physician being dragged from his seat on a flight from Chicago to Louisville to make room for a deadheading crew member.

Munoz is currently a member of the board of directors and was originally slated to assume the role of chairman at the company’s 2018 annual stockholder meeting.

United also announced plans for a new compensation program for Munoz and other top executives which would tie pay to improved customer satisfaction, saying it wants “directly and meaningfully progress in improving the customer experience.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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