United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz steps down to take executive chairman seat

The airline said Thursday that Munoz will become executive chairman in May 2020.

SHARE United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz steps down to take executive chairman seat
Oscar Munoz, president and CEO of United Continental Holdings, in February. | AFP / Getty Images

This file photo taken on February 9, 2017 shows Oscar Munoz, President and CEO of United Airlines, attending a meeting with airline industry executives hosted by US President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz is stepping down from his post and will become executive chairman.

The airline said Thursday that President J. Scott Kirby will be its new CEO. Kirby was recruited to United Airlines by Munoz in August 2016, after a three-decade career in the commercial airline business.

Munoz will become executive chairman in May 2020. He will serve in that role for a year.

United’s current chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the board in May. She will have served in the position for two years.

”With United in a stronger position than ever, now is the right time to begin the process of passing the baton to a new leader,” Munoz said in a statement.

Munoz led the company through a choppy period, and in 2017 gave up his bonus after the forcible removal of a ticketed passenger led to widespread criticism.

A few years ago, United lagged its closest competitors by many financial and operational measures. It has since reduced delays and cancellations and boosted margins. Since early last year, United has grown aggressively in Chicago, Denver and other places, adding flights between hub airports and smaller cities.

It had been rumored that Kirby was being considered for the top job at rival American Airlines, which has suffered a 15% decline in its shares this year.

Shares of United Airlines Holdings Inc., based in Chicago, are up 5% this year.

The Latest
“I got a lot left in the tank,” Cease said. “I’d love to throw as much as I can, but we’ll have to see.”
Herbert more than filled in for Montgomery, running 20 times for 157 yards.
“Today was the worst one,” Cairo said of the Sox’s sixth consecutive loss.
Having a franchise quarterback matters more than anything in the NFL, and the single greatest priority for the Bears this season is to determine whether Fields is that guy. It doesn’t look promising at the moment.
After a relatively slow start in 2022 following a training camp contract “hold-in,” Smith had a breakout game Sunday — 16 tackles, two tackles for loss and a fourth-quarter interception that paved the way for victory. “[From] here on out you can expect some big things.”