United Names Interim CEO While Oscar Munoz Recovers From Heart Attack

For the second time in just over two months, the United Airlines board of directors has announced a new leader as its recently appointed CEO, Oscar Munoz recovers from a heart attack.

Brett Hart, United vice president and general counsel, will serve as acting CEO until Munoz is able to rejoin the company, the Chicago Tribune reports.

In Munoz’s absence, United said Hart will work closely with the company’s non-executive chairman of the board, and the airline’s executive team to run the carrier.

In the past, Hart has been responsible for government and regulatory affairs, corporate real estate, customer experience, corporate security, community affairs, contact centers and food services.

“Brett has taken on increasing responsibility beyond general counsel over the last few years in the operations and customer facing areas of the company,” Henry L. Meyer III, non-executive chairman of the board, said in a statement. “I am confident in his ability to continue to implement the company’s strategy and Oscar’s mission of bringing United’s people together around the shared purpose of becoming the best airline for our customers and employees.”

The company did not provide an update on Munoz’s condition.

Hart’s appointment as acting CEO comes just two months after Munoz took the helm of the airline. He succeeded Jeff Smisek, who stepped down in early September.

Just last month, Munoz laid out his plans for the company: apologizing for the carrier’s haphazard merger with Continental, working to raise morale among employees and striving to regain the trust of passengers.

“Oscar’s agenda is focused on customer service, teamwork and innovation and I, along with the executive team, will continue to move quickly to implement it,” Hart said in a statement.

United stays in-house, names interim CEO to replace Munoz [The Chicago Tribune]