UAL CORP: The ~15 minute AGM ( Shareholders) meeting today

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by meFIRST, Jun 11, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    Per the article linked below, I can identify with most of the points. In fact, I applaud LAX pax of the year. ( I wonder, was there ever a nomination for other hubs?)

    How United turned its biggest fan into a shareholder activist ( Crain Chicago Business)

    The main takeaway that came to me was, that the meeting only lasted 14 minutes 30 seconds and took only 1 question.

    WHO THE HELL has a < 15 minute AGM?.

    Please bear in mind United is a publicly traded, Fortune 500, 17 billion dollar company ( and shrinking) , with 38 billion dollars in revenue annually.

    Jeff, my niece runs a lemonade stand in the summer with her friends, and they have a "shareholders" meeting that took more than 1 question and lasted longer than 14 minutes 30 seconds. Is he ( Jeff ) running United like a lemonade stand?



    Finally to everyone here, I present to you the wall of shame. UAL's Board of Directors, that have so far allowed this to happen :

    Jeffery (Jeff) A. Smisek <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204765>
    Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer
    United Airlines

    Stephen R. Canale <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204744>
    Retired President and General Chairman, District Lodge 141, IAMAW

    Carolyn Corvi <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204745>
    Retired Vice President and General Manager - Airplane Programs, Boeing

    Jane C. Garvey <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204748>
    North America Chairman, Meridiam

    James J. Heppner <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=219118>
    United Airlines Pilots Master Executive Council Chairman, Air Line Pilots Association International

    Walter Isaacson <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204752>
    President and Chief Executive Officer, The Aspen Institute

    Henry L. Meyer III <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204753>
    Retired Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, KeyCorp

    Oscar Munoz <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204759>
    Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, CSX Corporation

    William R. Nuti <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=234077>
    Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of NCR Corporation

    Laurence E. Simmons <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204764>
    President, SCF Partners

    David J. Vitale <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204767>
    Executive Chair of Urban Partnership Bank

    John H. Walker <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204768>
    Non-Executive Chairman, Global Brass and Copper Holdings, Inc.

    Charles A. Yamarone <http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=83680&p=irol-govBio&ID=204769>
    Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey


    Shareholders and other interested parties may contact the United Continental Holdings, Inc. Board of Directors as a whole, or any individual member, by one of the following means: (1) writing to the Board of Directors, United Continental Holdings, Inc., c/o the Corporate Secretary’s Office, Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Dr., Chicago, IL 60606; or (2) by emailing the Board of Directors at UALBoard@united.com.



    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
    HaveMilesWillTravel and MX like this.
  2. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    How United turned its biggest fan into a shareholder activist
    By Meribah Knight[​IMG][​IMG]June 11, 2014

    Jim Anderson arrived for United Continental Holdings Inc.'s annual shareholders meeting at Willis Tower a little after 8:30 a.m. today. He was dressed sharply in a navy suit with polished brown leather loafers and a blue-and-white striped tie.

    On his lapel and breast pocket was a cluster of shiny pins, two with the United Airlines logo and another three for each employee union: flight attendants, machinists and pilots. In his left hand he carried a canary-yellow paper bag filled with $10 Starbucks gift cards, which he proceeded to hand out to United employees. “Here you go. Thank you!” he said as he distributed them. Printed on the inside of the gift cards' packaging was a message from Mr. Anderson: “YOU are United Airlines! . . .Thank you for keeping the Skies Friendly.”

    [​IMG]

    Jim Anderson
    Mr. Anderson, 53, whose day job is in commercial real estate investment, had flown in the previous evening from his home base of Los Angeles. (He has not missed an annual meeting since 2008, the year he was selected by United as its “Passenger of the Year for Los Angeles.”)

    This morning, though, he was less enamored with the Chicago-based airline. As a United Mileage Plus member known for clocking 100,000 miles annually, he had something he wanted to say to a management team struggling with persistent financial letdowns: “How much longer are things going to be mucked up?”

    FREQUENT FAWNER

    Mr. Anderson is what folks might call a United zealot. A road warrior of the skies, he pledges his allegiance to the tulip — United's former logo before merging with Continental Airlines in 2010. A native of Rock Springs, Wyoming, Mr. Anderson began dabbling in the stock market at age 17 when he bought 100 shares of United Airlines stock for $3,000. He has followed the company ever since. (The connecting music on his cellphone is “Rhapsody in Blue,” the airline's theme song.)

    Since 2008, he has maintained a blog titled "Musings from the Friendly Skies," where he writes about his flying experience, his thoughts on United's performance and his support for the employees. Recently the blog has been getting a fair amount of traffic, a total of about 40,000 unique visitors, he said. “Lately it's just gone crazy.”

    MAN ON A MISSION

    Armed with his briefcase, his yellow paper bag and his utter disappointment — “I'm puzzled why this board still seems to be behind this management” — Mr. Anderson rode the Willis Tower elevator to the 10th floor, proceeded to sit in the first row among 25 other shareholders and waited to make his case to the airline's executives.

    And a case he made. In fact, he had not flown United to the meeting. Rather, he had flown American Airlines. “Just to have some experience,” he said. His determination: “Better. Better food. Better morale.” And after a coin toss in his hotel room late the night before, he had decided that he also would be taking American back home. “It was a difficult decision,” he said. So difficult that prior to coming he had round-trip reservations on both United and American. “But I was leaning toward keeping my American reservation,” he said of the return-trip coin toss.

    QUESTIONS? HE'S GOT A FEW

    Nine minutes into the meeting, with voting, approvals and the various legalities of such annual gatherings out of the way, United CEO Jeff Smisek took to the lectern for a discussion period in which shareholders were permitted to ask a question not exceeding two minutes. The company had allotted 10 minutes for the dialogue.

    [​IMG]

    United Continental CEO Jeff Smisek
    “Please raise your hand if you have a question,” Mr. Smisek said, wearing a navy suit with a green tie the color of lime sherbet. Mr. Anderson's hand shot up. “Yes sir?” Mr. Smisek said.

    Slightly hunched with an almost despondent tone, Mr. Anderson launched into his question: “Since the first-quarter earnings conference call there has been a lot of negative press coming out about the company, the most recent one being this Monday's Wall Street Journal article, 'United Continental: One Sick Bird.' I guess my question is: How much longer is this going to go on?”

    After Mr. Anderson rattled off a few more items about employee relations and unhappy customers, he finished noting what some say is at the heart of United's woes. “Analysts all point to this management as the problem. Not the employees. Not the costs,” he said. “They point to this management. And I guess the question is to this board of directors: How much more do the shareholders have to put up with this?”

    THE CEO RESPONDS

    Mr. Smisek responded: “Thank you. Well, let me address the financial performance. Our financial performance in the first quarter was disappointing. With that said, we have an excellent plan.” He went on to say United planned to cut $2 billion in costs and double its earnings, or more, by 2017. “I think it's far too early to judge this company at this point in time,” he said.

    Moments later, the meeting was complete. It lasted 14 minutes and 30 seconds. On Mr. Anderson's way out, a tall, balding man asked him if he was an activist investor. “Do you do all the airlines or just United?” he asked. “Just United,” Mr. Anderson replied.

    Downstairs, in the lobby of Willis Tower, Mr. Anderson reflected on Mr. Smisek's response to his question. “It was just boilerplate,” he said.

    Would he come again next year, a reporter asked. “Yes. It's my only way of getting my voice heard.”

    And he was off. He had an afternoon plane to catch on American Airlines.
     
    mht_flyer, iolaire, Garp74 and 3 others like this.
  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    His way to get heard is to sell his shares.
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    It's pretty shameful indeed.

    On the other hand it doesn't seem like the FT/MP community bothered to show up in numbers either. Not worth my time flying out from the west coast, but if it was local, I might have been willing to buy a share and show up for an hour of fun and entertainment.
     
  5. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    An hour?

    Meeting lasted 14 minutes 30 seconds. As I mentioned, my niece who runs a lemonade stand with her elementary school kid friends has a shareholder meeting that go on for far longer. Total revenue selling lemonade, < $150 dollars. But can I say ROIC and margin higher than UAL ;)

    We are talking about a 17 billion dollar company with 34 billion dollars in revenue = United Airlines . 14 minute 30 seconds AGM.

    The guy has a blog ( allegedly a lot of the content disappeared) , on blog spot. No first class porn.
    No credit card refs or farm factory the kind that lucky or points guy run. Just musings.
    http://keeptheskiesfriendly.blogspot.com/
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Yes I saw that.

    But if there had been a hundred legitimate shareholders with legitimate polite questions, would Smisek have cut off the questions after the ridiculous 10 minutes allocated?
     
    LETTERBOY likes this.
  7. HeathrowGuy
    Original Member

    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,131
    Likes Received:
    10,591
    Status Points:
    12,520
    Jeff Jong Un runs a tight ship on meetings.

    jeff jong un.jpg
     
    MX, rggale, JLSocks and 4 others like this.
  8. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    Likes Received:
    2,522
    Status Points:
    1,425
    How many people on FT/MP are shareholders, though (not being snarky, honest question)?

    Given the reaction here and on FT, if a large number of MP/FT shareholders had shown up, I somehow doubt the questions would have been all that polite.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Few, but my point was that people could buy a share if they want to have access.

    People often behave differently in person than on the internet. Doesn't mean there aren't in-person-idiots :)
     
    LETTERBOY and Flyer1976 like this.
  10. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    We attended the Whole Foods Meeting this year, it was basically the same thing, 15 or so minutes to read some canned text and wrap up the meeting. I think most public companies' shareholder meetings are similar, all vote on content must be submitted and approved in advance and only a random person or two might ask some question.
     
  11. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Have a look at the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting agenda:

    http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/meet01/2014meetinginfo.pdf

    Q&A 9:30am - 3:30pm

    I think the show UA has put on (and apparently Whole Foods as well) is sad and pathetic.
     
    MX likes this.
  12. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Yes and Berkshire Hathaway is unique.
     
  13. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    744
    Status Points:
    695
    My point of reference was the Omaha Berkshire meetings, which in itself is an event. Being a shareholder gives one some power, albeit a small vote

    YES NO I vote to appoint Jeff Smisek as CEO of United Continental Holdings

    YES NO I vote to re elect the Board of Directors


    Y'all know what my vote would be. NO and NO.

    Some of you know that I am a bit of a Russophile ( not so much with the government) . I should mention that even Vladimir Putin has a public question and answer session longer than 15 minutes ( questions submitted on-line) or by phone in ( this is very much staged now days). This tradition started with Yeltsin at the end of the Soviet Union and continues to this day. The total length or the question and answer session was over 3 hours, shown on TV ( live). 3 HOURS. I kid you not.

    Jeff Smisek answers 1 question and holds a shareholders meeting that lasts 14 minutes and 30 seconds.
     
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,506
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I went to one shareholder meeting in my life (the company I worked for and owned shares of). There were about 20 questions from the about 100 shareholders that attended, directed at the CEO and the board. The company was doing fine, so it wasn't a confrontational meeting. The whole meeting was probably an hour. As an employee it was interesting to observe this.

    You can perhaps also google around to see if you can find others, but here's another example of a non-15-min session: Google's 2014 meeting:



    (don't even have to be a shareholder to watch it)
     

Share This Page