United CEO won’t add chairman title in 2018 as was planned

DALLAS — United Airlines said CEO Oscar Munoz, who came under withering criticism for the airline’s handling of an April passenger-dragging incident, will not be automatically adding the title of chairman in 2018 as planned.

The company said Friday that Munoz proposed rewriting his employment contract to remove the expectation that he would become chairman at next year’s annual meeting of parent United Continental Holdings Inc.

United also said Friday that Munoz received $18.7 million in compensation last year.

Munoz was widely faulted for his early responses to the April 9 incident on board a United Express plane. He first blamed the 69-year-old passenger who was dragged off by airport security officers, but later apologized repeatedly for United’s handling of the situation.

The incident is under investigation by Congress and the Transportation Department. Lawyers for the passenger, Kentucky physician David Dao, have hinted at a lawsuit. And there have been calls online to boycott United.

Airline executives said this week it was too early to know if the widely publicized incident has affected ticket sales.

United’s board of directors has supported Munoz, according to a statement last week from Chairman Robert Milton. United said Friday in a securities filing that management and the board “take recent events extremely seriously,” and will link executive bonuses partly to “improving the customer experience.”

Last month the airline was also criticized on social media and trolled by other airlines after a United gate agent in Denver told young girls they would have to change or cover up their leggings before being allowed to board a plane.

Munoz was named CEO in September 2015, replacing Jeffrey Smisek, who stepped down in the midst of an influence-trading scandal. Munoz had been on the airline’s board while serving as CEO of freight railroad CSX Corp.

He has focused on improving United’s tattered relations with labour unions. The airline has made some strides in improving its on-time performance, cancelling fewer flights and losing fewer bags. However, it still generally ranks poorly in surveys of airline travellers.

Most of Munoz’s compensation last year was in stock. The company said Friday in a regulatory filing that about $6.8 million of the total was related to a signing bonus that Munoz was promised in 2016.

Just Posted

Unemployment rate and EI beneficiaries down in Central Alberta

The unemployment rate for Red Deer region and the number of people… Continue reading

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month