Oscar Munoz (executive)
January 1959 (age 59)|
California, United States
University of Southern California (BS)|
Pepperdine University (MBA)
|Occupation||Chief Executive Officer of United Airlines|
Oscar Munoz (born January 1959) is an American businessman. He was named president and chief executive officer (CEO) of United Airlines on September 8, 2015. At the time of this appointment, Munoz had been serving as a member of the board of directors of parent company United Continental Holdings (UCH) since its formation with the 2010 merger between United and Continental. Munoz had been a member of Continental's board of directors since 2004.
In March 2017, Munoz was named "Communicator of the Year for 2017" by PRWeek. The following month Munoz received widespread criticism for his handling of the issues after a ticketed passenger was forcibly removed from United Airlines Flight 3411, leading Steve Barrett, Editor-in-chief of PRWeek US, to state "if PRWeek was choosing its Communicator of the Year now, we would not be awarding it to Oscar Munoz … In time, the episode and subsequent response will be quoted in textbooks as an example of how not to respond in a crisis." Subsequently, on April 21, 2017, UCH announced that Munoz would remain chief executive officer of the airlines but would "not take broader control of the company as previously planned." Munoz had been scheduled to assume the role of chairman of the board of UCH at the company's 2018 annual stockholders' meeting.
Munoz was born in January 1959, the oldest of nine children in a Mexican-American family living in California, and was the first in his family to graduate from college. Munoz earned a BS in business from the University of Southern California, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Munoz was president of CSX Corporation during 2015 and its chief operating officer from 2012 to 2015. From 2001 to 2003, Munoz served as the chief financial officer and vice president of consumer services at AT&T. Munoz had worked for Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc..
Response to violent forcible removal of passenger
On April 9, 2017, Chicago O'Hare Airport security removed four passengers from United Express Flight 3411 to make space for four employees who were deadheading to another flight. Three of the passengers left the airplane without incident, but the fourth, Dr. David Dao, refused to leave the seat he had paid for. Chicago Department of Aviation Police officers were called to remove Dao, which they accomplished by first slamming his face into the arm rest and then dragging the injured and bleeding man from the aircraft. The following day, an official response from United Airlines, attributed to Munoz, apologized "for having to re-accommodate these customers" without mentioning Dao's injuries. In an email to United employees, Munoz stated that he stood behind employees for having "followed established procedures" and said that Dao was "disruptive and belligerent". Videos depicting the incident and Dao's injuries were widely circulated, and United Airline's shares declined. In a second press release on April 11, which was more sensitive to public opinion, Munoz "deeply apologize[d] to the customer forcibly removed and to all other customers aboard."
Munoz's handling of the incident was described by various critics as a "fumbling response," a "major disappointment," and a "sort of a self-immolation [that] makes you wonder about his choice as CEO." Munoz was already under pressure from activist shareholders to improve United's performance, including its customer relations, after he took charge of the airline in 2015. However, analysts remained confident of future performance.
Munoz is married to Cathy; they have four children.
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- "'No one should ever be mistreated this way,' apologetic United CEO says in TV interview". cbc.ca. Retrieved April 13, 2017.
- Munoz, Oscar (April 10, 2017). "Response to United Express Flight 3411". United Airlines.
- Kottasova, Ivana. "United Airlines shares set to plummet after man dragged screaming off flight". CNN Money. Retrieved April 11, 2017.
- Thomas, Lauren (April 10, 2017). "Video surfaces of man being dragged from overbooked United flight". CNBC. MBC Universal. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
A video posted to Facebook Sunday evening showed what is becoming another public relations nightmare for United Airlines
- "Statement from United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz on United Express Flight 3411". United Investor Relations. United Airlines, Inc. April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
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- "United's Munoz Goes From Savior to Man on Hot Seat Real Fast". April 11, 2017. Retrieved April 13, 2017 – via www.bloomberg.com.
- Wise, Alana (April 12, 2017). "United Airlines faces mounting pressure over hospitalized passenger". Reuters. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- Huston, Caitlin (April 12, 2017). "United Airlines and Pepsi's PR scandals may not hurt their stocks". Marketwatch. MarketWatch, Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
Analysts were mostly upbeat this week, as they focused on the carrier's investor presentation Monday. Wolfe Research reiterated its outperform rating on the stock, based on strong traffic for the airline in March and in-line passenger revenue per available seat mile. Cowen & Co. analysts also pointed to the traffic data, making no mention of the passenger incident, and raised their stock price target.
- "United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz Suffers Heart Attack". Wall Street Journal. October 16, 2015. Retrieved October 16, 2015.
- Truglia, Saverio (November 18, 2016). "How United's Oscar Munoz Bounced Back After a Heart Transplant". Fortune. Time Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
- "How United's Oscar Munoz Bounced Back After a Heart Transplant". Fortune.com. November 18, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
| CEO of United Continental Holdings
2015 – present
| COO of CSX Corporation
2012 – 2015
| President of CSX Corporation