Last updated: 10:36 AM ET, Tue October 20 2015

United Airlines Names Acting CEO Following Munoz's Heart Attack

Airlines & Airports | United Airlines | Donald Wood | October 20, 2015

United Airlines Names Acting CEO Following Munoz's Heart Attack

Following United Airlines President and CEO Oscar Munoz's heart attack last week, the company has officially announced its general counsel Brett Hart as interim CEO while Munoz recovers.

In a report from Paul R. La Monica and Jackie Wattles of, the change at CEO comes just 41 days after Munoz was given the position, as he was brought in to clean up the mess left by former president Jeff Smisek’s corruption scandal.

Not only was Munoz expected to help clean up the company’s major issues moving forward, but he was also supposed to preside over United Airlines' first quarterly financial presentation on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Regarding Munoz’s health, the company released a statement saying, “At this time, it is too soon to know the course of treatment and timing of recovery.”

Hart, 46, is expected to fill in for Munoz and act as the CEO as long as needed. Since joining United Airlines in 2010, Hart has been the company’s top lawyer and also its chief lobbyist, while also handling business in the real estate and security sectors.

Aviation insider Brian Sumers shared a letter on Twitter from Hart to United Airlines employees following the announcement that he would be acting CEO:

United Airlines non-executive chairman of the board Henry L. Meyer III also released a statement about the appointment of Hart as acting CEO, saying, “I am confident in his ability to continue to implement the company's strategy and Oscar's mission.”

The company is in experienced hands with Hart. Not only was he a special assistant to the general counsel at the U.S. Treasury Department, but he also spent seven years climbing the corporate ladder to executive vice president with the Sara Lee Corporation.

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