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UA Shakes up Executive Ranks Amid Investor Pressure

Executives from low-cost carrier, consulting group join United front office

United Airlines will have two new executives joining their ranks, with one occupying an office open for over one year. In a press release, the airline announced Andrew Levy would join the airline from Allegiant Airlines, while Julia Haywood will come on board from Boston Consulting Group.

Levy will assume the role of executive vice president and CFO, which has been vacant since John Rainey resigned in August 2015 to take the same position at PayPal. Gerry Laderman, senior vice president of finance, procurement and treasurer will resume his role after serving as interim CFO for the past year.

In the airline industry, Levy comes to United with over 13 years of experience, reaching the office of president and chief operating officer at Allegiant. He left in 2014 to start his own company, while joining the Board of Directors at Copa Airlines this year.

Haywood will take over the office of executive vice president and chief commercial officer from Jim Compton, who will retire at the end of the year. Prior to joining United, she worked with the airline at Boston Consulting working on a revenue and network transportation plan.

“Julia and Andrew bring a powerful combination of industry perspective and experience to our leadership team.” Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United, said in a press release. “[Andrew’s] deep experience in not only finance, but airline operations is critical as we are redefining all aspects of our business to build a truly great airline…and [Julia’s] expertise in global consumer travel will be a tremendous addition to drive United’s strategic direction.”

The decisions come as United seeks to calm a boardroom battle with activist investors, while avoiding a showdown with union leadership. In March, two investor groups demanded “meaningful change” from the airline after lackluster profit statements. Earlier this month, the airline announced a post-merger contract to unite flight attendants under one airline brand.

The two hires signal even more change coming to United in the coming months. Among Munoz’s plans is a review of hubs and the overall route network, with the goal of raising an additional $3.1 billion in revenue.

[Photo: AP]

Comments are Closed.
AADC10 August 23, 2016

"Investor pressure" to increase profits usually means cutting amenities and services while increasing fares. Investors are the enemy of customers. Investors only want short term money and hate customers and employees. The ideal move for investors is to squeeze out a large sum of cash and depart while the company collapses and dies. UA is last among the majors and "pleasing investors" will not change that position.

FlyingWithers August 19, 2016

How odd that investor pressure made them do this. You would think they could figure it out for themselves. Thank heavens for investors. Perhaps upper management should be reading FlyerTalk; that would be an early warning that lots of things are wrong. they would see, for example, that I have stopped flying UA. Hello DL. It is not enough to do our best; sometimes we have to do what is required: Winston Churchill