United's CEO Undergoes Heart Transplant

Jan. 7, 2016
United's CEO has been on medical leave since October following a heart attack, but is slated to return to work this spring.

As originally reported on AP News, the CEO of United Airlines Oscar Munoz who has been on medical leave since suffering a heart attack in October, underwent a heart transplant on Wednesday. The airline said that he is recovering.

United said that it expects Oscar Munoz to return to work this spring. The airline said that a transplant was "considered the preferred treatment and was not the result of a setback in his recovery."

It did not provide more details, including where the transplant was performed. It promised to provide more information within 24 hours.

Munoz, 57, became CEO in early September after Jeff Smisek abruptly stepped down during a federal investigation into the airline's dealings with officials who run airports in the New York City area, including Newark, New Jersey, where United has a major hub.

Munoz suffered a heart attack in mid-October, although the company declined to confirm it for several days. At the time, United would only say that Munoz was in the hospital. United on Oct. 19 appointed Brett J. Hart, the company's executive vice president and general counsel, as acting CEO.

In November, Munoz visited United's operations center and said that after talking with doctors he planned to return to work in the first three months of 2016. On Wednesday, United said it expects him back by the end of the first quarter, March 31, or early in the second quarter.

Copyright 2016 - The Associated Press