LONDON — United Airlines has announced that its Chief Financial Officer, Andrew Levy, has stepped down.
Levy will be succeeded by Gerry Laderman who has been named as the “acting Chief Financial Officer”.
As Laderman steps in, the airline said that they will be immediately beginning a search for a new CFO.
Laderman will bring his expertise in finance, procurement, and treasury as he currently serves as VP of those three departments in the senior executive leadership team.
"As satisfying as this job has been, I am considering several exciting opportunities and will choose one in the coming weeks," says former United CFO Levy on his resignation this week. https://t.co/iJdv9IMWvF cc @hharteveldt @PlaneBusiness pic.twitter.com/VNG3TCqUPA
— Edward Russell (@e_russell) May 17, 2018
Laderman’s job role as VP of Finance, Procurement, and Treasurer enabled him to hold legal and financial positions of certain responsibility at the company, under the names of Continental Holdings for nearly 30 years.
United is confident that he will be able to “execute United’s overall financial strategy, including cost management, capital allocation, and balance sheet optimization.”
“I plan to return to the more entrepreneurial pursuits that have defined my career,” Levy wrote in a note to colleagues Thursday.
“My decision to resign was reached after a great deal of thought during the past few months. I have some interesting opportunities and now is the right time for me to move forward.”
“I personally want to thank Andrew for his contributions to United. He leaves the company in a stronger financial position and with a clear strategy and framework in place. Our exceptional operational performance and our focus on productivity are driving improved profitability despite anticipated fuel headwinds and we remain confident in our existing financial guidance,” said CEO Oscar Munoz.
“Gerry’s deep experience and financial acumen mean that he is ideally suited to lead our finance organization during this transitional period. Gerry will work with the rest of the team to continue delivering on our financial strategy as we search for a permanent CFO.”
Andrew Levy was hired at United Continental Holdings Inc. in August 2016, which came following the news that the carrier had picked up Scott Kirby away from American as president in the same month.
Levy had previously served as president of ultra-low-cost carrier Allegiant for 13 years before he departed from his post in October 2014. Levy, on top of this, earned up to $3.3 million in compensation last year.
A Reshuffle by Muñoz?
Levy’s departure comes after the airline’s CEO implemented a series of moves to strengthen the airline’s network, its overall fleet integrity, and ultimately, the company’s financial health.
His departure comes in a few weeks after the airline released an excellent quarterly earnings results.
The new regional routes that Muñoz has added to the airline’s network, as well as the revamping of its long-haul fleet, and the introduction of Polaris, must show the CEO’s goal is a proper response to the few years of uncertainty the airline has gone through.
United hasn’t had a comfortable period. In the last few years, the airline has had to face some public relations disasters, such as Dr. Dao’s aggressive removal from a flight, and the death of a pet inside an overhead bin.
On top of this, United got more press flack after they substituted an employee-bonus program with what workers called a “lottery” that awarded larger bonuses to fewer people.
This was ultimately dropped after the majority of employees voted against it.
Concerning executive departures, Levy’s followed that of Julie Stewart, who was the Chief of Staff to Muñoz, who said to colleagues in a recent memo that she was moving over to Delta Air Lines.
Stewart had worked herself up in the company, having worked previously as Managing Director of Investor Relations.
These moves seemed to have left the carrier unaffected in the stock markets, with no significant drops or gains registered when the markets shut for the day in New York.
It’s likely that these C-Suite changes are making way for a fresh new team that can drive the carrier toward a different direction, especially with the airline not letting Laderman take over completely on a permanent basis.