United Airlines has appointed executive vice president and general counsel Brett Hart as its acting CEO after newly-appointed chief executive Oscar Munoz suffered a heart attack last week, the company has announced, saying it is preparing for “all potential outcomes” regarding the company’s leadership structure.
The airline said Monday that Munoz had been placed on medical leave after suffering a heart attack on Thursday, though the company’s statement provided no information about Munoz’ current condition or prognosis. “At this time, it is too soon to know the course of treatment and timing of recovery,” the statement said. “The board of directors remains actively engaged in preparing for all potential outcomes regarding the company’s leadership structure.”
As a result, the board of directors of United Continental Holdings decided on Monday to name Hart as its acting chief executive.
“Oscar’s agenda is focused on customer service, teamwork and innovation and I, along with the executive team, will continue to move quickly to implement it,” Hart said in the statement. “We believe strongly that we can continue to make steady progress on increasing shareholder value by working together to deliver a great product to our customers.”
Henry L. Meyer III, non-executive chairman of the board, said Hart had taken on an increasing responsibility over the last few years in the operations and customer facing areas of the company. “I am confident in his ability to continue to implement the company’s strategy and Oscar’s mission of bringing United’s people together around the shared purpose of becoming the best airline for our customers and employees,” Meyer said.
Munoz remained hospitalized in Chicago on Monday and there has been no word on his condition.
Munoz was appointed the chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings, Inc, the parent company of United Airlines, on September 8 after the resignation of Jeff Smisek.
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