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United Airlines’ management will finally see the full-time return of CEO Oscar Munoz. It’s been a turbulent few months for the airline with its former CEO Jeff Smisek stepping down amid allegations. So when United hired Oscar Munoz as his replacement, there were high hopes for the company — and Munoz was able to get some things done in his short few weeks on the job before he suffered a heart attack. Munoz pledged to return to the position as soon as he was able to, specifically in the first quarter of 2016, with interim CEO Brett J. Hart stepping in for the time being. And now it looks like the time for Munoz to return has finally come.
As of March 14, Oscar Munoz will return full-time from medical leave. He’ll resume full responsibilities of the position as of that date, but he hasn’t been completely out of the loop the whole time he’s been on medical leave. During the time he’s been in recovery, he’s been participating actively in all major corporate decisions and meeting frequently with employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.
And Munoz has a lot of work ahead. Luckily, during the few weeks he was full-time before his heart attack, Munoz was able to implement new initiatives in an effort to improve customer service — including increasing United’s Twitter presence and creating a new website entirely for customer feedback.
While Munoz was out, interim CEO Brett J. Hart continued the effort to boost United’s lackluster customer service reputation, which Munoz will have to continue. During Hart’s time, the airline equipped more than 6,000 hub-based customer service reps with iPhones, allowed airport agents to distribute electronic goodwill certificates of up to $125, announced free food and drinks in economy for Premier 1K and Global Services flyers and brought back complimentary snacks in economy. That being said, United still has a long way to go to improve its reputation, but with Munoz back at the helm, there’s hope that things will continue to improve in the near future.
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