Hobbled United CEO Oscar Munoz is on the mend. After replacing disgraced CEO Jeff Smisek, Munoz promised big changes to United but quickly suffered a heart attack, forcing United to name Brett Hart as Interim CEO. For weeks we have heard nothing about Munoz’s medical condition, leaving us only to speculate whether he would return. Today he sent a letter to employees announcing that he would return to his position in 2016:
Dear United team,
Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers you sent to my family and me over the past few weeks. I am excited to tell you that I am on the road to recovery. My time away will be a little longer than I would like, but based upon discussion with my doctors I will be back in the first quarter.
I’m personally grateful to Brett and the entire management team for their leadership and for embracing United’s new direction. I know each one of you is committed to achieving our full potential, continuing to focus on building and delivering our shared purpose of making United not only the best airline to fly, but also the best place to work.
While I have been part of the United family for only a short time, I’ve built many valued and strong relationships so far, and I can’t wait to come back.
As I’m sure you can appreciate, this has been a difficult time for me and my family. Your messages of encouragement have helped profoundly. I look forward to seeing you in 2016 to continue working together to build a great airline.
So no Oscar till 2016 but I trust by then he will be ready and able to jump in to reshaping United to be a much more consumer-friendly airline. Tomorrow I will share two stories that present United with two simple opportunities to show it has turned over a new leaf.
To be honest, I thought for sure Munoz would not return so I am cautiously optimistic over this news. I wish Oscar the best in his recovery, looking forward to new incentives and initiatives that will move United in a positive direction.