Former FAA Chief Becomes First Woman to Serve as United Board Chair

May 25, 2018

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Jane Garvey, former head of the Federal Aviation Administration, has been appointed chairperson of the board at United Continental Holdings — the first woman to hold this position.

Garvey is replacing former Air Canada CEO Robert Milton who served as board chair since 2016. Oscar Munoz — United’s CEO — was originally supposed to become chairman of the board in 2017, but after the disastrous BumpGate incident with Dr. Dao, Munoz was told he would not take over.

Garvey, 74, will be tasked with improving profits at the airline. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton as head of the FAA in 1997, and served in that role for five years. She’s had a seat on United’s board since 2009, and she’s also worked at JPMorgan Chase and investment and development firm Meridiam. The airline is also currently searching for a new chief financial officer after Andrew Levy resigned last week.

Last week, Joanna Geraghty became the highest ranking woman at a US airline when she was promoted to president and chief operating officer of JetBlue. Now, Garvey matches Geraghty, and the two of them are the top-ranking women in the airline industry — a field that’s typically dominated by men.

The Chicago Tribune reports that Garvey received $295,263 in total compensation in 2017 for her service as a board member. Milton received $551,702 last year as head of the board. Garvey’s new rate of compensation won’t be known until the airline files its next public statement.

H/T: Bloomberg

Featured image by Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images.

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