By Hemal Gosai
United Reorganizes Several Key Leadership Positions
United Airlines recently announced a leadership reshuffle that appears to play to the strengths of several key leadership personnel. This comes at a time when the industry is dealing with significant challenges due to a sudden return to travel that many airlines were unprepared for.
United has done a relatively good job compared to its peers. It has carefully managed staffing and capacity to avoid significant meltdowns that American Airlines, Southwest, and Delta Air Lines have faced. Overall, the staff is more satisfied with the management and most labor disputes have been avoided.
This goes to show that the airline led by Scott Kirby generally does know what they’re doing and this reorganization is posed to create a stronger airline while also rewarding key players for their performance.
Here’s the breakdown:
Toby Enqvist was the Chief Customer Officer and will now be taking on the role of Chief Operations Officer.
Linda Jojo will be taking on the role of Chief Customer Officer from the role of Chief Digital Officer. This is especially notable since Linda has been responsible for a significant number of positive improvements for customers. The biggest of which has been the revamp of the United Airlines mobile app which is arguably industry-leading in functionality and ease of use.
Greg Hart is Executive Vice President of United Next, the initiative to renew the United fleet. He will take on additional responsibilities by managing TechOps, the maintenance, repair, and overhaul division of the airline.
Andrew Nocella is United’s Chief Commercial Officer and will be taking on additional responsibilities by overseeing inflight and club menu along with product design. This move is to consolidate oversight of the hard and soft product design.
Ankit Gupta, who was recently promoted to SVP of Domestic Planning and United Express in October 2021, will now become Senior Vice President and Chief Air Operations Officer. This involves oversight of Flight Ops, Inflight, and NOC teams along with coordination of commercial and network planning teams.
Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President International Network and Alliances, will now be Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances. This will be in addition to oversight of the domestic United network.
Jason Birnbaum, Senior Vice President Digital Technology, will become Chief Information Officer and continue to report to Linda Jojo.
Jon Roitman, Chief Operating Officer, will step down from his position but will remain on the board as an advisor.
United has taken several calculated steps to reorganize top leadership in a move to better poise the airline for the future.
This is in addition to several steps the airline has taken to cozy up with the government. The airline was among the first to announce a vaccine mandate and has received direct recognition from the White House over the airline’s assistance in flying in baby formula. Scott Kirby also has been appointed to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and has made several announcements regarding environmental conservation efforts from the White House. United’s Chief Communications Officer, Josh Earnest, was a former White House Press Sectary under the Obama Administration.
United is playing a very calculated game here with multiple players. It is evident their house is in order and they are taking calculated steps to become friendly with the government and the public.