United Airlines fired their CEO, Jeff Smisek, today. The official coverage says he resigned, but in connection with a federal investigation into wrongdoing involves the Port Authority of NY/NJ. Quoting a Wall Street Journal piece:
United Continental said Mr. Smisek’s departure is related to federal and internal investigations associated with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
There won’t be many tears shed other than maybe at the Smisek household. United has not been run well for years (more detail on that in a bit).
I recall at the time I read this View From The Wing post about Smisek agreeing to some sort of quid pro quo with the head of the Port Authority they involved a nonstop flight to the airport nearest the director’s vacation home that this wouldn’t end well. The flight was ended 3 days after the director left office and there were rumors of documentation linking the event.
My thought at the time was, “If you’re dumb enough to publicly exhibit damning evidence (maybe not conclusive, but substantial) about bribing a government official, you probably shouldn’t be running a Fortune 500 company.
Gary outlines much of what is wrong with United in his report on the ouster. Not much to argue with there.