Oscar Munoz is returning to the helm of United Airlines early next year. Shortly after taking over when Jeff Smisek was forced to resign, Munoz suffered a heart attack that left many wondering if he would be able to resume his responsibilities as CEO.
“I am excited to tell you that I am on the road to recovery,” Mr. Munoz said in a memo to employees. “My time away will be a little longer than I would like, but based upon discussions with my doctors, I will be back in the first quarter.”
I think that’s good news for United. Having to start over on searching for a CEO is just another distraction they don’t need right now. Munoz has experience running a large company and has said all the right things early on in his tenure.
The most significant element here is the certainty of what’s to happen with the CEO position at United. They’re not starting over on their search. In theory, Oscar will be healthy enough at some point (if not already) to start investing some time in analyzing the task ahead of him and planning strategically with his team. And, hopefully for him and his family, he’s better positioned from a health perspective to address the substantial issues United has to conquer in the future.