United’s Munoz Retires, Board Appoints Edward Philip as Non-Executive Chairman

By Paul Riegler on 27 May 2021
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United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz

United Airlines announced the retirement of its executive chairman, Oscar Munoz, and the appointment of Edward Philip to the position of non-executive chairman of the board.

The role of executive chairman is separate from that of CEO and distinct from a non-executive chairman. The executive chairman typically wields influence over company operations but is not responsible for day-to-day operations.

Mr. Munoz became the carrier’s executive chairman last May after serving as CEO since 2015. His tenure at United started with some controversy: his predecessor Jeff Smisek and two other executives were forced out under a black cloud in September 2015 after being investigated for doing favors for a state official who had jurisdiction over Newark Liberty International Airport, where United operates a major hub.

Five weeks after assuming the CEO position, Mr. Munoz suffered a heart attack and underwent a heart transplant a few months later.

Mr. Munoz “will be missed by the entire United team,” said Scott Kirby, the carrier’s CEO.

Mr. Philip has been a member of the airline’s board since 2018 and served as lead director since May 2020.  He was previously the chief operating officer of Partners in Health as well as the vice president of finance for the Walt Disney Company. The new chairman is also on the board of directors of Hasbro and Bombardier Recreational Products.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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