United Hires Former White House Press Secretary to Be Its Communications Chief

May 3, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

In a move to help restore its image after several public relations blunders, United Airlines announced on Thursday that it’s hired former Obama administration press secretary Josh Earnest as its senior vice president and chief communications officer.

At United, Earnest will be responsible for developing the company’s global communications strategy, leading a team that will executive the strategy and working closely with the company’s leadership to shape its public image. Earnest will be the company’s chief spokesman.

Once Earnest takes over the role on May 21, he will have replaced United’s former communications head Jim Olsen, who stepped down after just two years on the job. During Olsen’s time at the company, United’s public image was tattered by a number of incidents. Most notably, Olsen was at the helm during the infamous April 2017 Dr. David Dao dragging incident.

In the aftermath of the Dao incident, things didn’t improve much for United. Most recently, in March 2018, a dog was killed on board a United Airlines plane when a flight attendant required that the dog be stored in an overhead bin.

By bringing in Earnest, United’s clearly hoping to improve its tarnished image. Prior to coming to United, Earnest served from 2014 to 2016 as press secretary for President Barack Obama. Since his tenure at the White House ended in 2016, Earnest has since worked as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

“Josh is a proven leader and world-class communications strategist who has thrived when the stakes are the highest — and the margin for error is the smallest,” said United CEO Oscar Munoz.

Earnest and his family will relocate to Chicago this summer.

Featured image by NurPhoto / Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.