Embattled United CEO Munoz Forgoes Bonus as Chairman Steps Aside

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    Last year was one Oscar Munoz would like to soon forget, and the United Continental Holdings CEO is doing his best to wipe the slate clean. By requesting that he not be granted a bonus for 2017, Munoz hopes to create a culture of accountability. But after the passenger dragging incident and a dog’s death in an overhead bin, Munoz will need to make that culture more than a one-off for publicity.

    United Continental Holdings Inc.’s top executive is forgoing a bonus for last year and its chairman is stepping aside.

    Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz asked the board not to award him the payout for 2017, the airline said in a regulatory filing Monday. The announcement came a year after United sparked a public-relations fiasco by dragging a passenger from a plane. The carrier’s image took another hit this year when a dog died in its care.

    “I felt it was important to send a message about the culture of accountability and integrity that we are building here as a United team,” Munoz said in a letter to employees about the compensation decision. “We had some incredible successes in 2017 but also some setbacks.”

    United’s chairman, former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton, won’t stand for re-election to the board so he can focus on other interests. Director Laurence Simmons, who joined United’s board in 2010, also plans to leave.

    The board plans to select a new independent chairman to succeed Milton. Last year, after the dragging incident, United’s directors reversed a previous plan to name Munoz as head of the oversight council.

    Milton joined the board in March 2016 and became non-executive chairman the following month as United resolved a proxy fight begun by two activist shareholders, Altimeter Capital Management and PAR Capital Management.


    ©2018 Bloomberg L.P.


    This article was written by Justin Bachman from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to

    Photo Credit: United Continental CEO Oscar Munoz (pictured) has chosen not to receive a bonus for 2017. Bloomberg / Bloomberg

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