Oscar Munoz — who is the new chief executive of United Continental Holdings Incorporated — reportedly suffered a heart attack on Thursday, October 15, 2015; and is currently being treated at a hospital in Chicago.
“Oh God, I just saw him Sunday”, posted InsideFlyer member Weatherboy. “I hope he recovers.”
InsideFlyer member radonc1951 responded: “I suspect that he will recover. However, there is not going to be a captain at the helm for reasonable amount of time. The only ‘good’ thing about this is that he has been CEO there for a short period of time, meaning minimal corporate changes have taken place to date.
“But things need fixing, and I doubt he is going to be allowed to do much. They need a new leader, albeit temporary.”
Munoz In; Smisek Out
Oscar Munoz replaced Jeff Smisek on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 as chief executive officer of United Airlines last month after Smisek was supposedly involuntarily relieved from his responsibilities at United Continental Holdings Incorporated as a result of being reportedly related to ongoing federal and internal investigations associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, whose former chairman is suspected to have allegedly used his prominent position to demand favorable treatment or personal benefit from United Airlines — such as for a weekly direct flight between Newark and Columbia in South Carolina near the vacation home of David Samson, who resigned from his position as chairman back in March of 2014.
Along with Smisek, two other senior executives also departed from United Airlines.
Amongst the problems which purportedly occurred during Smisek’s reign included but was not limited to:
- The fallout from an integration of the cultures of two airlines after the merger was completed
- A barrage of highly-publicized technological glitches which grounded airplanes and angered frustrated passengers who were unnecessarily inconvenienced — such as the incursion of the computers of United Airlines several months ago from which flight manifests and corporate secrets were allegedly stolen
- Unhappy members of unions and labor groups — such as pilots and flight attendants
- A new Internet web site which proved to be unpopular with members of InsideFlyer.
Munoz to the Rescue
Munoz proactively set out to try to fix the problems by reaching out to customers via e-mail messages, which garnered mixed reactions from InsideFlyer members. “…get us where we are booked to go safely, comfortably, on time and for a reasonable fare”, answered InsideFlyer member 8MiHi in this discussion which was launched as an opportunity to help change United Airlines. “If UA does that consistently, I will never leave them.”
Meanwhile, InsideFlyer member ahappyelite launched this discussion, claiming that if Munoz is really serious about “a ceasefire in the industry’s war on customers”, the airline would restore MileagePlus back to a frequent flier loyalty program whose earnings are once again based on distance flown and not on revenue; as well as expand last-minute specials for “cash starved Americans” so that “they almost sell out each route each weekend.”
All of that will have to wait, as doctors are currently determining the severity of the heart attack which befell Munoz, who is 56 years old. Meanwhile, a decision to temporarily replace Munoz with another person to lead United Airlines is pending the outcome of the medical reports pertaining to the condition of his health.
The stock price of United Continental Holdings Incorporated closed on Friday, October 16, 2015 at $55.97 — down $1.79 per share, or 3.10 percent on stock ticker symbol UAL — on reaction to the news of Munoz suffering from a heart attack.
Source: The LinkedIn profile of Oscar Munoz.