United Airlines announced that Oscar Munoz will be stepping down as the company’s CEO, as he prepares to transition to the role of executive chairman of the board of directors of United Airlines Holdings, Inc. beginning next spring.
Munoz will turn over day-to-day management of the airline to President Scott Kirby, who will become the company’s chief executive officer in May 2020.
"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," said Munoz. "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.”
Under his tenure as CEO, Munoz was responsible for transforming the airline’s culture and setting new standards of operational and financial performance. Munoz will serve as executive chairman for a one-year term, during which time he will continue working with Kirby as he settles into his new role.
"I am honored to be named the next CEO of United and to succeed Oscar, whose leadership has been truly transformational for United Airlines," said Kirby. "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."
Also part of this transition, United's current chairman, Jane Garvey, will retire from the board in May 2020 after serving for more than a decade. In addition, the airline announced that Ted Philip will become lead independent director following the 2020 annual meeting of shareholders.
These changes are set to take effect following the company's annual meeting of shareholders, scheduled for May 20, 2020.