United Airlines announced that Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, will transition to the role of Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of United Airlines Holdings in May 2020. As CEO, Munoz has transformed United's culture and set new standards of operational and financial performance. J. Scott Kirby, President, will succeed Munoz as Chief Executive Officer.
"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. "One of my goals as CEO was to put in place a successful leadership transition for United Airlines. I brought Scott to United three years ago, and I am confident that there is no one in the world better equipped to lead United to even greater heights."
Kirby was recruited to United Airlines by Munoz in August 2016, after a three-decade career in the commercial airline business.
"When I joined United as CEO, I laid out ambitious goals to build a new spirit of United by regaining the trust of our employees and customers – and I'm proud of how far we've come," Munoz said.
Kirby, a highly-regarded industry leader, has played a pivotal role in enabling United's cultural transformation and successfully executing the company's strategic growth plan.
"I am honored to be named the next CEO of United and to succeed Oscar, whose leadership has been truly transformational for United Airlines," Kirby said. "I look forward to working with Oscar, the Board, our established leadership team and every United employee as we drive forward our proven strategy and focus on being the airline customers choose to fly and return to time and again."
Munoz will serve as Executive Chairman for a one-year term and will continue to work closely with Kirby, the Board and the United team in shaping United's employee and customer-centric culture. He will also lead the company's Board and continue to engage on behalf of United with a range of external stakeholders.
As part of this transition, United's current Chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the Board in May 2020 after more than a decade of exceptional service, including serving as Chairman since May 2018. At the request of the Board, Garvey agreed to remain in her role for a year beyond the Board's mandatory retirement age.
The company also announced that Ted Philip will become Lead Independent Director following the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Philip joined the Board in July 2016 and chairs the Nominating/Governance Committee. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Hasbro, Inc. and BRP Inc.