United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek, as well as the airline's executive vice president of communications and government affairs and its senior vice president of corporate and government affairs, have stepped down. Oscar Munoz has been announced as the airline's new CEO.
The executives are leaving during a federal investigation into whether or not the airline traded favors with the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York Times reports. The United States attorney for New Jersey is investigating allegations that United agreed to bring back money-losing flights to an airport near the weekend home of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman David Samson in return for improvements at Newark Liberty International Airport, where United is the largest carrier.
In addition to serving as the new CEO, Munoz will also continue to serve on United's board of directors. The board appointed Henry L. Meyer III, United's lead independent director, to serve as non-executive chairman of the board of directors.
Munoz brings to the role experience in the transportation industry and large consumer brands including AT&T, Pepsico and The Coca-Cola Company. He most recently served as president and chief operating officer of CSX Corporation, United said.
Munoz has served on the board of directors for United Continental Holdings, Inc. since 2010 and served on the board of directors of Continental Airlines, Inc. since 2004. Munoz is active in several industry coalitions and philanthropic and educational organizations, including the University of North Florida's board of trustees and the PAFA advisory board of Vanderbilt University.
Munoz graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in business administration, and he received a master's in business administration from Pepperdine University. Munoz has been named one of the "100 Most Influential Hispanics" by Hispanic Business magazine.