United and Continental announce new leadership team


HOUSTON AND CHICAGO – Continental Airlines and United Airlines, in communications to their employees today, announced the selection of the new senior leadership team of the combined airline, reporting directly to Jeff Smisek, who will serve as president and chief executive officer. The companies expect the board of directors of the new airline will elect the following senior officers as executive vice presidents at the close of the merger of the two companies:

Mike Bonds, who joined Continental in 1995, will be responsible for human resources and labor relations.

Jim Compton, who joined Continental in 1995, will serve as chief marketing officer.

Jeff Foland, who joined United in 2005, will lead the combined carrier’s loyalty program.

Nene Foxhall, who joined Continental in 1995, will oversee the communications and government affairs functions.

Keith Halbert, who joined United in 2008, will be chief information officer.

Pete McDonald, who joined United in 1969, will be chief operations officer.

Zane Rowe, who joined Continental in 1993, will be chief financial officer.

Tom Sabatino, who joined United in 2010, will be general counsel.

Glenn Tilton, chairman and chief executive officer of United Airlines, who will serve as non-executive chairman of the combined airline, said, “We have exceptional executives across our two companies; this created a superb talent pool from which to determine the senior executive team to take the company forward – and, at the same time, we have equally talented people who will continue to contribute to successfully executing our individual performance agendas between now and close.”

Smisek commented, “This outstanding team represents a great blend of experience and expertise at both airlines, and I look forward to working together with them as we create the world’s leading airline.”

The new leadership team will work with Smisek to design the overall officer-level organization and select the remainder of the leadership team. Concurrently, the companies are developing a talent-selection process for other management and clerical roles and refining the planned organizational structure. The companies expect the merger to close before year-end.

In the meantime UAL Corporation, the holding company whose primary subsidiary is United Airlines, announced today that John Tague, president of United Airlines, and Kathryn Mikells, chief financial officer, will leave the company following the close of its planned merger with Continental Airlines.

Additionally, United announced that Graham Atkinson, president of Mileage Plus and Rosemary Moore, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs, also are leaving the company upon close of the merger.