Jeff Smisek

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Jeff Smisek
Smisek, Jeff.jpg
Born 1954 (age 59–60)
Alma mater Princeton University, (B.A.)
Harvard Law School, (J.D.)
Occupation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines
Spouse(s) Diana Strassmann[1]

Jeff Smisek is the Chairman, President and CEO of United Airlines. United and its United Express regional partner airlines operate an average of 5,100 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents.

Prior to this role, Smisek was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental Airlines, which merged with United Airlines in 2010. Smisek joined Continental in 1995 as Senior Vice and General Counsel. In 2004, he became President and was elected to the company's board of directors. He became President and Chief Operating Officer in September 2008.[2]

At various points during 2014, Smisek was severely criticized for United's poor customer service and employee dissatisfaction.[3] Several articles named United as the worst airline in America,[4][5] and one commentator named Smisek the worst CEO in the airline industry.[3] This follows a 2013 CNBC opinion poll that nominated Jeff Smisek as one of the worst CEO's in America in 2013. [6] There has also been criticism of problems with the integration of Continental[7] and severe quarterly losses of $609 million. There was also a reduction of the performance-based part of Smisek's pay from $3.5 million to $1.25 million.[8]

Following a strategy of cost cuts, share buybacks and conservative expansion of capacities, one commentator concluded that Smisek has regained the trust of Wall Streeet analysts by late 2014.[7]


Preceded by
Glenn Tilton
CEO of United Airlines
2010 – pesent
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Larry Kellner
CEO of Continental Airlines
Succeeded by
Incumbent; merged with United Airlines