Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

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Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:36 pm

The New York Times, as well as many other outlets, reports that CSX President (as distinct from CEO) Oscar Munoz, has "taken off" to become CEO of United Airlines. I can't think of when else a Class I executive has gone over to a major airline as CEO:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/busin ... ation.html

Fair Use:

United Airlines said on Tuesday that its chief executive, Jeff Smisek, and two other senior officials had stepped down amid a federal corruption investigation.

The airline is under investigation by the United States attorney in New Jersey over whether it had improperly sought to influence senior officials at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The company said it had named Oscar Munoz as president and chief executive to replace Mr. Smisek, the company’s chief executive since it merged with Continental Airlines in 2010. Mr. Munoz, a member of the United board, previously served as president and chief operating officer of the rail giant CSX.


Here is coverage by the Wall Street Journal (possible paywall):

http://www.wsj.com/articles/united-cont ... 1441746428
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby shlustig » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:16 am

Only other one I can think of was Wayne Hoffman who went from NYC to Flying Tiger Airlines, but that was a freight-only airline.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Sep 09, 2015 8:23 am

Here is an email I sent to two United Attendants I know and/or know of. As the article that may or may not be behind a paywall notes, neither the Attendants nor Mechanics have a unified Labor Agreement some five years after the merger:

http://on.wsj.com/1hVxv3r


Here is a short article from The Wall Street Journal addressing the unresolved labor issues at United and that apparently Mr. Munoz intends to address them. This is also my first knowledge that the mechanics (presume they are represented by the IAM) also do not have a unified labor agreement. I was of thought that the IAM represented other crafts such as ground service workers (baggage handlers, fuel handlers, honey wagon crews) and I would presume that they have all come together or the article would have noted that.

However, I have to wonder what kind of Labor Relations background Mr. Munoz can bring to the table. Even though CSX is a combination of some nine Class I (big) railroads, the system has been in place since 1999 and Mr. Munoz did not come to CSX until 2001. So, from my perspective of a shareholder of CSX and a passenger of United, it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

GBN
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby mmi16 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:01 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Here is an email I sent to two United Attendants I know and/or know of. As the article that may or may not be behind a paywall notes, neither the Attendants nor Mechanics have a unified Labor Agreement some five years after the merger:

http://on.wsj.com/1hVxv3r


Here is a short article from The Wall Street Journal addressing the unresolved labor issues at United and that apparently Mr. Munoz intends to address them. This is also my first knowledge that the mechanics (presume they are represented by the IAM) also do not have a unified labor agreement. I was of thought that the IAM represented other crafts such as ground service workers (baggage handlers, fuel handlers, honey wagon crews) and I would presume that they have all come together or the article would have noted that.

However, I have to wonder what kind of Labor Relations background Mr. Munoz can bring to the table. Even though CSX is a combination of some nine Class I (big) railroads, the system has been in place since 1999 and Mr. Munoz did not come to CSX until 2001. So, from my perspective of a shareholder of CSX and a passenger of United, it will be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

GBN


CSX does not have unified labor agreement among all their crafts.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Wed Sep 09, 2015 6:31 pm

mmi16 wrote:CSX does not have unified labor agreement among all their crafts.


Somehow I thought that could be the case; and accordingly was careful not to make such a statement.

However, a review of the discussions over at www.airliners.net will certainly establish that labor relations had best be on the bucket list for Mr. Munoz.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby NYC27 » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:21 pm

Oscar Munoz is a very talented executive, the type of guy who you could drop into any leadership role at any company and expect him to have success. This is a big loss to CSX going forward. Clarence Gooden is a deadly combination of Southern gentleman and savy businessman. He is a great choice to be president, but is getting on in years and might be there just long enough to allow Sanborn and Elleissen to transition into their new roles.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:39 am

Today, The Times has printed what to me appears a fair and balanced article regarding the possibility of Mr. Munoz being able to favorably turn United Airlines from its apparent "worst" standing in the airline industry. There are also inferences that United's gain could be CSX's loss:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/busin ... tunes.html

Fair Use quotation:

At first glance, Oscar Munoz might seem like an unlikely pick to run one of the world’s largest airlines.

Until his surprise appointment on Tuesday as chief executive of United Airlines, Mr. Munoz had been a rising star at the CSX Corporation, a railroad company where he was recently promoted as second-in-command and considered the likely successor to Michael J. Ward, the chief executive.

But in a sudden twist, Mr. Munoz, who has no airline management experience, was named at United after the abrupt resignation of Jeff Smisek in the face of a federal corruption investigation involving the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Given the complexity of the airline business, it is virtually unprecedented for a major carrier to pick an outsider as its chief. With his new and highly visible position, Mr. Munoz, 56, also becomes one of the most prominent Hispanic executives in the country, leading a company that employs 84,000 people, operates hundreds of flights a day and runs a fleet of 700 airplanes


The Journal has a likewise "balanced" article (possibly paywalled) better addressing the point of greater interest here - the impact upon CSX of Mr. Munoz's "takeoff":

http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-united- ... 1441846302

Fair Use quotation:

Last year was challenging for all the major freight railroads as they struggled with record-setting grain shipments, a new crude-by-rail business, tight capacity and unusually bad weather. At CSX, as at other railroads, service performance slid, trains were late and shipments stranded. Then this year, in an abrupt reversal, commodities and oil shipments have fallen. CSX, especially, has been hurt by falling coal shipments.

The railroad has had to reduce its full-year earnings guidance twice lately after fending off a merger approach from a rail executive with a stellar record: Hunter Harrison, CEO of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. Mr. Harrison approached CSX last October and the two railroads held exploratory talks before CSX rebuffed him.

“A number of investors were wondering whether or not Oscar was the guy to take CSX to the next level operationally,” said Mark A. Levin, Managing Director of BB&T Capital Markets. “Many rightly or wrongly put Oscar in the middle of that.”



disclaimers: 1) author holds long position CSX; 2) author will have made four round trips using air transport this year; three of which will have been on UA (know my way around ORD Term 1; not too much elsewhere. Also enjoyed TSA Pre Check with United "while I had it")
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Re: Captain Munoz Is "Grounded"

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:27 am

The conspiracy theorists will hold that this one is starting to resemble Pope John Paul I - the one who mysteriously checked out 38 days after taking office. They hold that he was "slipped his Last Supper' by factions within the Church's hierarchy "uh, not happy" with his election.

Could there be a similar tale with Oscar?

CSX knew he was not well; and hence passed him over for CEO when Mr. Ward retires. Oscar cashes whatever chips he had with United and becomes their CEO, not really disclosing his health issues to them.

We will see; let's just say there will turmoil at the airline on which I do most of my flying. Oh, and I got my TSA Pre-Check back!! :-D

But as for any afflicted man, let's offer thoughts and prayers.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Oct 30, 2015 2:21 pm

For anyone who hasn't seen it, Wes Vernon's column in the November Railfan and Railroad has a concise yet comprehensive rundown of the whole backstory.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:41 am

Ya gotta wonder about this one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/busin ... plant.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/united-cont ... 1452207978

You have to wonder if CSX knew Oscar had serious health issues, and even if all reports suggested he could been in line for the CEO slot, he was going to get the "pass over".

United Airlines, which has a host of issues to address such as labor, quality of service, and suddenly the repute of their top executives, needed a CEO on the quick. "Vetting" a ready to go candidate, even if grounded in the operations of another industry, but owing to his United Board seat was aware of the issues needed to be addressed, apparently did not include his health.

It will be interesting to see when or if Oscar sits down in the cockpit (whoops; Flight Deck), or otherwise a corner office in Sears Tower (another whoops; Willis Tower).
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby mmi16 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:51 pm

Gilbert B Norman wrote:Ya gotta wonder about this one:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/07/busin ... plant.html

http://www.wsj.com/articles/united-cont ... 1452207978

You have to wonder if CSX knew Oscar had serious health issues, and even if all reports suggested he could been in line for the CEO slot, he was going to get the "pass over".

United Airlines, which has a host of issues to address such as labor, quality of service, and suddenly the repute of their top executives, needed a CEO on the quick. "Vetting" a ready to go candidate, even if grounded in the operations of another industry, but owing to his United Board seat was aware of the issues needed to be addressed, apparently did not include his health.

It will be interesting to see when or if Oscar sits down in the cockpit (whoops; Flight Deck), or otherwise a corner office in Sears Tower (another whoops; Willis Tower).


There had never been any scuttlebutt about Oscar having any serious health issues while at CSX. His move to United/Continental was a surprise.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Jan 23, 2016 2:07 pm

From Marriott Biscayne Bay Miami

I just shared an elevator with an Ex-Con (formerly Continental) First Officer who handled a flight from ORD without incident.

He said the word is that Oscar will be fine. He thinks he is going to turn things around. I said I have a railroad background and am a regular with United and there is much to suggest he is CSX loss, United's gain.

Great to hear what sounds like a good man will be OK.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby mmi16 » Sat Apr 02, 2016 6:36 pm

Munoz back on the job at United after a heart transplant.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-l ... olumn.html
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby Gilbert B Norman » Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:54 am

Speaking of airlines, and now that Captain Munoz is back in command, looks like United has decided to upgrade the product offered to, what the Journal calls. "High Value" passengers:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/united-cont ... 1464877312

Fair Use:

United Continental Holdings Inc. on Thursday said it would makeover the business-class cabins on its international widebody planes and its elite airport lounges, its first major product upgrade in more than a decade.

Called “United Polaris,” the new long-haul business class will debut in December on a freshly delivered Boeing Co. 777-300ER plane. It will subsequently be rolled out on other new aircraft on order, including more 777-300ERs, Boeing 787-10s and Airbus Group SE A350-1000s.

United also said it would retrofit at least 100 double-aisle aircraft it already has in its fleet.


At their site, they have a "slick vid" of this "rollout". Have to wonder what "the troops in the trenches" think about this.
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Re: Captain Munoz Is At The Controls..

Postby GulfRail » Thu Jun 30, 2016 8:34 pm

This isn't the first time a struggling airline has looked to the railroad industry for managerial talent: Albert V. Casey was an executive at Southern Pacific before he was hired by American, while Delta's Leo Mullin was senior vice president of Conrail at one point in his career. That being said, I hope Munoz is more like Casey and less like Mullin, who was essentially Delta's equivalent of railroad executives like Stuart Saunders or John Snow.
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