Shaking things up at Willis Tower

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Old Mar 6, 15, 3:09 pm
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Shaking things up at Willis Tower

UA announced 5 new SVP/VP roles this afternoon in an internal message (link to my story about the news):
  • Brad Rich hired as SVP United Express (formerly President/CFO SkyWest)
  • Lynda Coffman VP - Ground Services overseeing a new subsidiary for that purpose
  • Sandra Pineau-Boddison as SVP Customers, a new position in the company
  • Donna Towle as Vice President – Operations Engagement and Leadership, also a new position
  • Mike Ellis promoted to Senior Vice President – Human Resources

The Lynda Coffman role involves creating and managing a new ground services unit which I imagine to be akin to Delta Ground Services or Eagle Ground Handling for taking on both UA and OAL contracts using lower cost employees.

SVP Customers oversees Customer Experience, Call Center and Food Services.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 3:48 pm
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So the SVP Customers gets the customer care responsibilities recently assigned to General Counsel?
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Old Mar 6, 15, 3:49 pm
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Curious where are most of these newly added VPs coming from?
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Old Mar 6, 15, 3:51 pm
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more layers upon layers.

UAX needs to be with the airport operations group. I don't understand how you can have 50% (no idea the true %) of your airport operations group different from your own airport operations group. I believe the true reason why the UAX operations are so poor.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 4:25 pm
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I believe the true reason why the UAX operations are so poor.
that's because they prioritize mainline over express; why cancel/delay a 777 when you can whack an RJ?

The only change that's really going to make a difference if Mr. Smisek decides to (or is told to)"retire".
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Old Mar 6, 15, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by entropy View Post
that's because they prioritize mainline over express; why cancel/delay a 777 when you can whack an RJ?

The only change that's really going to make a difference if Mr. Smisek decides to (or is told to)"retire".
that should always be the case. However, I was referencing the poor performance on the ground. There is no oversight on what happens in the stations.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 4:43 pm
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I feel like just throwing bodies and money at problems isn't going to necessarily make them go away...
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Old Mar 6, 15, 5:26 pm
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Shouldn't the CEO be "SVP Customers" first and foremost?
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Old Mar 6, 15, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by indiagenie View Post
Shouldn't the CEO be "SVP Customers" first and foremost?
Actually no...

We all wish that customer comfort and quality of product were the first priority, however the stock price seems to indicate that at least in the short term it doesn't matter.

Unfortunately for us what he is doing is presently working, if it's sustainable is a whole other point. navigating that dilemma is what the CEO is first and formost, and I am not convinced he is going down the right path but who knows. When most of the market is blind to anything other than rock bottom price...
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Old Mar 6, 15, 6:19 pm
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Agree, he is taking a short term cosmetic path masking the problems. Problems that in the long run will be the ruination of UA. Twenty years from now it'll be sadly confirmed.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 8:04 pm
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Shaking things up at Willis Tower

It's about time they filled the spot that used to be filled by Barbara Higgins.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 8:09 pm
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All of my dealings with Sandra P-B have been uniformly positive, and sometimes exceptionally excellent.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 8:16 pm
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Originally Posted by cblaisd View Post
All of my dealings with Sandra P-B have been uniformly positive, and sometimes exceptionally excellent.
She was gracious and did a nice job putting on the food event for us back in 2012 in Chicago.

Not sure how empowered she was then given the output of the food vs what she mentioned she was planning in 2013 (there were more ambitious food plans at her level that didn't materialize).

Was surprised to see the Express rotation.

And man, there are a lot of layers at that airline now. Customer experience now has her, Jimmy, that MBA who gets quoted in Hemispheres with overly generic statements about the surveys, and more.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
And man, there are a lot of layers at that airline now. Customer experience now has her, Jimmy, that MBA who gets quoted in Hemispheres with overly generic statements about the surveys, and more.
Three (3) people may not be enough to replace Barbara Higgins.
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Old Mar 6, 15, 9:27 pm
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too bad the shakeup didn't start at the top....many times it's just better to start with a clean sheet of paper!
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