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John Willis

Executives on the Move: The Week of September 7th – 11th

by John Willis | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

September 14, 2015 | No Comments »


Here are just a few of the interesting executive changes making headlines over this past week:


United Continental Replaces CEO as Three Execs Resign under Cloud

In the face of a federal investigation into a possible too cozy relationship between top United Air executives and the then-head of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the CEO and two other corporate highfliers resigned from their posts. Jeff Smisek, also chairman and president of the airline, stepped down, as did EVP Irene Foxhall and SVP Mark Anderson, both of whom had government affairs titles. That’s where former Port Authority chairman David Samson comes in; the agency operates all New York City-area airports. Allegedly, he had arranged with Smisek for United to operate a weekly roundtrip nonstop flight from its Newark hub to a South Carolina airport near Samson’s vacation home. (The flights discontinued after two years, soon after Samson himself resigned from the authority under fire in 2014.) Replacing Smisek as CEO is director Oscar Munoz, on the board the last five years and on Continental Airlines’ for six years prior. To take the post, he resigned as president and COO of freight hauler CSX. Another director, Henry Meyer, fills Smisek’s chairman role.


CSX Reshuffles after Loss of Munoz to United

Rail and trucking company CSX Corporation had to make a few moves when president and COO Oscar Munoz resigned to take the top job at United Continental. He was seen as the natural successor to CEO Michael Ward, who has held the slot since 2003. Instead, Ward made an announcement of not only Munoz’s replacement but took the opportunity to make changes at other high posts. Among them was the transfer of CFO Fredrik Eliasson to be in charge of sales and marketing. The holder of the latter spot, Clarence Gooden, got Munoz’s spot as president. VP Frank Lonegro became CFO.


Tempur Sealy Turns Over to New Leadership

At first glance it may seem like a comparatively relaxing, even sleepy story about the change at the top for mattress maker Tempur Sealy. Scott Thompson, a veteran of the automotive industry, took over as chairman, president, and CEO. He held the same positions at car renter Dollar Thrifty until it was acquired by Hertz in 2012 and was also a founder of car dealer Group 1 Automotive. But Thompson replaces former CEO Mark Sarvary, who was forced to resign in May when he and two other directors were voted off the board in a proxy fight led by a hedge fund complaining of Tempur Sealy’s lackluster performance. Interim CEO Timothy Yaggi returns to his COO role.


Look for more Executives on the Move next week!

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