Possible executive suite shake-up [Confirmed.]

Old Dec 14, 12, 7:08 am
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Possible executive suite shake-up [Confirmed.]

Interesting story developing that Mark Bergsrud, SVP Marketing and Chris Amenechi, VP Merchandising & Distribution were asked to leave the company on 13 December.

That's a major shake-up and it will be interesting to see who is brought in to replace them. The company has certainly struggled with their marketing message since the merger and I personally know of at least a few glitches on the distribution side of the house, though it is not clear if this move is tied to specific events or more general problems.

I haven't yet seen confirmation of this in any public sources and I'm working on getting that confirmation. If true, this is a pretty big deal.
It has been confirmed. See below for more.

Last edited by sbm12; Dec 14, 12 at 10:25 am
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:16 am
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Wow...interesting as those who made the Bergsrud decision were people he's worked with for years - Compton / Smisek. It's not like he was an unknown quantity to them.

Though if you were to find a source that was a bit less sensitive to the UA side of the house and had an 'our way or the highway' view...
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:33 am
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What does "Merchandising and Distribution" do?
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
What does "Merchandising and Distribution" do?
Make sure that the inventory is available through various channels, including GDS and OTAs. At least that's what distribution is about.
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
If true, this is a pretty big deal.
That it is -- any ideas of why they're getting the axe sbm12? (e.g. higher ups looking for a scapegoat?)
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Interesting story developing that Mark Bergsrud, SVP Marketing and Chris Amenechi, VP Merchandising & Distribution were asked to leave the company on 13 December.

That's a major shake-up and it will be interesting to see who is brought in to replace them. The company has certainly struggled with their marketing message since the merger and I personally know of at least a few glitches on the distribution side of the house, though it is not clear if this move is tied to specific events or more general problems.

I haven't yet seen confirmation of this in any public sources and I'm working on getting that confirmation. If true, this is a pretty big deal.
Isn't Bergsrud the person responsible for the "all elites are equal" strategy?
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Old Dec 14, 12, 7:52 am
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Bergsrud was/is also responsible for "treating all elites equal" focus. Plus, merchandising seems to have underperformed. This announcement, if true might indicate that some of the CO approach to running the new United is receiving renewed scrutiny. Although I don't know much about Amenechi, this should be considered a step in the right direction.

Last edited by anc-ord772; Dec 14, 12 at 8:45 am
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:08 am
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I think this story might have truth. If I'm remembering correctly (and I might not be), Bergsrud is no longer on the Investor Website, and I believe O'Toole as now taken on the added title.

http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings....irol-govManage
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by J.Edward View Post
That it is -- any ideas of why they're getting the axe sbm12? (e.g. higher ups looking for a scapegoat?)
Believe it or not, no one called and asked my opinion before the action came.

I actually can understand the distribution side a bit. If they are responsible for all the integration with 3rd party stuff as I believe they are then perhaps the past 9 months or so of problems with 3rd party systems and the associated costs finally bubbled up to the top. I know I'd be pretty pissed as a boss to find out that I was selling my premium product at an unplanned discounted price, even if only in small volumes.

For Bergsrud, I can see how personalities might have clashed in the office based on a few limited interactions. I can also see how some public views - his claim that their social media team was "on it" a few months back was quite ridiculous - could lead others to think he wasn't actually seeing what was going on in real life.

But, to answer the direct question, no. I have no idea why.
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
The company has certainly struggled with their marketing message since the merger
What marketing message?

The MO of the ex-CO people is to do things exactly how CO had done it. Edit, Find, Continental, Replace, United, Replace All? Yes, OK.

Just look at the logo. They squandered attempt to do something new.

And remember the original logo? It was even the same font as the old CO logo.



I guess there was enough outcry that they changed it, but it was around for a bit.


Originally Posted by anc-ord772 View Post
if true might indicate that some of the CO approach to running the new United is receiving renewed scrutiny.
This. And as it should. Clearly it hasn't been working, and the numbers are showing it. The more of this the better.

Originally Posted by JC1120 View Post
I think this story might have truth. If I'm remembering correctly (and I might not be), Bergsrud is no longer on the Investor Website, and I believe O'Toole as now taken on the added title.

http://ir.unitedcontinentalholdings....irol-govManage

According to that site, Foland (ex-UA) appears to have marketing.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Dec 14, 12 at 8:26 am Reason: merge
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:20 am
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Yes, Foland is EVP of Marketing (and Technology and Strategy), with O'Toole as SVP of Marketing and Loyalty.

I believe Bergsrud was an SVP most recently? At least all the articles that I'm pulling up about him, including a now defunct link to the UA IR website all says SVP.
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:25 am
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Back in the CO days, Scott was under Bergsrud. So now he is under O'Toole who is under Foland? And those 2 report to Compton?
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by JetAway View Post
What does "Merchandising and Distribution" do?


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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by Vulcan View Post
Back in the CO days, Scott was under Bergsrud. So now he is under O'Toole who is under Foland? And those 2 report to Compton?
Let's just hope that the good ex-COers like Scott have aligned themselves sufficiently away from the traditional CO way of thinking so that they can be spared in any sort of trickle-down.

With the changes we've noticed recently (1K meal choice, 1K big on the BP, etc.), it's possible that the CO way of thinking is on its way out the door. If that's the case, it's possible that ex-COers have a target on their back.
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Old Dec 14, 12, 8:58 am
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This action would be the biggest indicator (to me) since the merger, that positive momentum has arrived.

I would also count Jim Compton as a good ex-COer.
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