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UA changes COO -- was Hart, will now be Roitman - and other senior management changes

UA changes COO -- was Hart, will now be Roitman - and other senior management changes

Old May 27, 20, 2:57 pm
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UA changes COO -- was Hart, will now be Roitman - and other senior management changes

A Message from United CEO Scott Kirby
CHICAGO, May 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- J. Scott Kirby, Chief Executive Officer, today issued the following message to nearly 100,000 United Airlines (NASDAQ: UAL) employees:

Hello everybody.

In my message to you last week, I talked about doing everything in my power as CEO to make sure we are in a position to bounce back more quickly than any of our competitors once the virus is defeated and demand begins to recover.

That means we have to continue to plan for the worst. But at the same time, we also have to be prepared for the best. After all, the one thing I am absolutely confident in is that our customers want to fly again and reconnect with people and places around the world. And part of preparing for the best means thinking about the short-term adjustments that we have to make to get through the crisis as well as the long-term structural changes that will allow us to thrive once again.

So today, I am asking Greg Hart to take the lead on those big picture issues. During my tenure here at United, Greg has been the rock that I could always count on as our Chief Operations Officer (COO). Despite having hubs in the most difficult weather/ATC markets of any airline anywhere in the world, we moved to the top of the industry in all of the operational metrics. We also invested in the customer experience and have been making the largest, recent improvements in Customer Satisfaction of any airline in the country.

But being the COO of United is a tough, 24x7 job. Greg told me last year that he wanted to start preparing for retirement but he agreed to spend the next 12-18 months grooming his successors. And while none of us could have anticipated the COVID-19 crisis, it accelerates a need for leadership in new areas.

Specifically, I'm asking Greg to step back from his role as COO and instead focus on critical medium and long term issues - in particular, setting the stage for United to be the world leader in innovation with respect to safety, hygiene, and operating efficiency. Additionally, I'll be relying on him to continue his work on one of our most important objectives - developing strategies to allow flexibility in our cost structure, including labor costs. Our costs are not designed for the near-term uncertainty of travel demand. Demand could be down 30% or it could be down 70%. The way to best survive this crisis is to be able to nimbly adjust the size of the airline, including labor costs, to meet demand and importantly, be ready to bounce back quickly when the virus is defeated. We believe we are working on ideas that no other airline in the world is considering. Greg is uniquely qualified to be a leader not just for United, but in world-wide aviation, taking us all to the next level on these issues that are so critical to our future.

And so that means that it's time for other members of Greg's team to step up, in a way that is consistent with our succession planning, to help run the operation while Greg focuses on more broad, fundamental, structural changes to our business.

Jon Roitman, currently our Senior Vice President of Airport and Network Operations, will step into the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer effective June 1. Jon is the embodiment of our core4 culture and no one has a better sense of the inner-workings of our operation. We've made some tough choices as an organization and even tougher decisions may come in the near-term, so it's more critical than ever that we have a leader of Jon's caliber waking up every day thinking solely about how we stay a step ahead of this virus and its impact on our operation. In addition to his current responsibilities, Jon will expand his role to include Flight Operations, Technical Operations and Safety. I am confident that Jon will rise to this challenge.

As part of these moves, Sarah Murphy, Senior Vice President of United Express, and Jan Krems, Vice President of Cargo, will move into Andrew Nocella's organization and Toby Enqvist, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, will report to Brett Hart.

There are tough times ahead. But there are also glimmers of hope – our schedule is expected to be down 75 percent in July, a slight improvement over May and June. While we can't quite see the light at the end of the tunnel yet, it's not pitch black in here anymore.

But there is more work to be done and I'm confident that today's leadership changes will put United in an even better position to drive our near-term, operational goals, while at the same time create an environment where we can fly past our competitors when demand returns.

Thank you for all you do every day to take care of our customers and one another.

Stay safe and we'll talk soon,

Scott
Scott Kirby, CEO
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Old May 27, 20, 3:57 pm
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Jon is a good guy, and wouldn't have any concerns about him taking over.
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Old May 27, 20, 5:10 pm
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“Started at Continental in 1997”


Oh greattttt
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Old May 27, 20, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
As part of these moves, Sarah Murphy, Senior Vice President of United Express, and Jan Krems, Vice President of Cargo, will move into Andrew Nocella's organization and Toby Enqvist, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, will report to Brett Hart.
Who's Brett Hart?

David
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Old May 27, 20, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Who's Brett Hart?
UA Corporate Leadership team
Brett J. Hart
President United Airlines
Brett J. Hart is president of United. In this role, Brett is responsible for leading the company’s public advocacy strategy including the government affairs, corporate communications, legal and community engagement teams. He also oversees business-critical functions such as the corporate real estate team and manages United’s industry-leading environmental sustainability efforts. His responsibilities also include managing the human resources and labor relations teams.
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Old May 27, 20, 6:01 pm
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A week after the CEO transition that was announced in November.

They can spin it however they want, it wasn’t planned. Greg Hart is only 54.

Last edited by UAL757222; May 27, 20 at 6:09 pm
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Old May 27, 20, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
UA Corporate Leadership team

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Understand - but your quote is what's up on hub.united.com which is why it is surprising that the "Greg Hart" and "Brett Hart" errors are contained in the same post on that site.

Additionally, the hub.united.com post doesn't say what Greg Hart's title now is. You read on the right side bar on hub.united.com that Brett Hart is elevated to President and go to that post. But nothing about Greg Hart.

Or maybe UA has too much "Hart".

David
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Old May 27, 20, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Understand - but your quote is what's up on hub.united.com which is why it is surprising that the "Greg Hart" and "Brett Hart" errors are contained in the same post on that site. ...
what errors?

Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Additionally, the hub.united.com post doesn't say what Greg Hart's title now is. ...
I would not be surprized if it is something like "Special Assistant to the CEO" -- a common title in these situations or "special Assitant on Long Range Planning". But it appears, no longer an "officer" of the corporate or c-title
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Old May 27, 20, 6:43 pm
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
what errors?
While the "letter" may have been intended for internal UA distribution, given that it is posted to not only hub.united.com as well as PRNewswire, without defining that Greg Hart and Brett Hart are two different people, the general reading audience of hub.united.com or PRNewswire will likely conflate the similarity of names and assume that the letter is written in error ("Did they mean Greg when they refer to Brett?" or "Who's Brett?").

I would not be surprized if it is something like "Special Assistant to the CEO" -- a common title in these situations or "special Assitant on Long Range Planning". But it appears, no longer an "officer" of the corporate or c-title
Probably. But perhaps it is not surprising that clarity in communications is not valued in an organization such as United Airlines.

David
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Old May 27, 20, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by UAL757222 View Post
“Started at Continental in 1997”


Oh greattttt
what would be so terrible? Greg came from CO as well. Roitman has done a great job with airport services both at CO and now at UA.
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Old May 27, 20, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by UAL757222 View Post
A week after the CEO transition that was announced in November.

They can spin it however they want, it wasn’t planned. Greg Hart is only 54.
And then saying Greg will be big picture strategy boy but limiting that scope to Clorox wipes, mass layoffs and clawing back other forms of compensation.

Kirby should just change the name of the airline, what lies ahead is just embarrassing to the United legacy.
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Old May 27, 20, 7:38 pm
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I am convinced that United could dig up Juan Trippe and name him to some C-level position, and people would still find something to complain about
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Old May 27, 20, 7:48 pm
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Originally Posted by DELee View Post
Who's Brett Hart?
Why, the Hitman, of course!




Sorry, couldn't help it. I'll let myself out now.
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Old May 27, 20, 8:52 pm
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​​​​​​​We believe we are working on ideas that no other airline in the world is considering
There might be a reason for that....
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Old May 27, 20, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
There might be a reason for that....
It just amazes me the arrogance of some people to think they are going to be doing things nobody has thought of before. Yeesh, you're not inventing fire over there guys. You continue to repackage old ideas, perfume them and call them "new".

Last edited by bluedemon211; May 27, 20 at 11:39 pm
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