United Airlines announces new CEO

United Airlines Boeing 787

United Airlines has appointed Oscar Munoz chief executive officer (CEO).

Munoz takes over from Jeff Smisek, who has stepped down from his roles as chairman, president and CEO, and as a director, with immediate effect.

Munoz will continue to serve on the board of directors at United Continental Holding, as he has done since 2010.

“It is truly a privilege to serve as United’s CEO. United has an incredible opportunity for improving an experience that is essential to the vitality of global business and to the personal lives of millions of people, for innovation, and for earnings growth,” says Munoz.

“In my years serving on the board, I have been impressed by the dedication and skill of my new co-workers. Together, we will make United the top-performing airline.”

Munoz joins United from transportation firm CSX Corporation, where he was president and chief operating officer. He has held various senior financial and strategic roles with a number of household names, including AT&T, Pepsico and The Coca-Cola Company.

United Continental Holdings has named Henry L Meyer III, its lead independent director, who will serve as non-executive chairman of the board of directors.

Smisek’s departure is in connection with the company’s previously disclosed internal investigation related to the federal investigation associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. United also announced that its executive vice president of communications and government affairs and its senior vice president of corporate and government affairs have stepped down.