United Airlines Shuffles Management Team, Warns of ‘Tough Times Ahead’

By Kurt Stolz on 27 May 2020
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United Airlines announced multiple executive appointments including that of COO Greg Hart to lead efforts on the airline’s recovery from the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic, saying there were “tough times ahead.”

The airline’s new CEO, Scott Kirby, announced the changes in a memorandum to all employees and said Mr. Hart would address “the short-term adjustments that we have to make to get through the crisis as well as the long-term structural changes.”

“Greg is uniquely qualified to be a leader not just for United, but in world-wide aviation, taking us all to the next level on these issues that are so critical to our future,” Mr. Kirby said in the memo.

In his new role, Mr. Hart will focus on issues relating to safety, hygiene, and operating efficiency, as well as strategies that relate to the airline’s cost structure, including the cost of labor.

“Our costs are not designed for the near-term uncertainty of travel demand. Demand could be down 30% or it could be down 70%,” Mr. Kirby said in the memo.

In addition to the new position for Mr. Hart, the company announced the appointment of Jon Roitman, its senior vice president for airport and network operations, to the position of chief operating officer.

“It’s more critical than ever that we have a leader of Jon’s caliber waking up every day thinking solely about how we stay a step ahead of this virus and its impact on our operation,” wrote Mr. Kirby.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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