United Airlines Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz will hand the reins to President Scott Kirby next year, capping a tenure in which he turned around the perennial laggard.
Kirby will take over as CEO in May while Munoz becomes the executive chairman, the carrier said in a statement. Kirby joined United in 2016 after leaving American Airlines Group Inc. and worked with Munoz to engineer an ambitious expansion plan.
“With United in a stronger position than ever, now is the right time to begin the process of passing the baton to a new leader,” Munoz said in the statement. He was named CEO in September 2015.
Kirby’s promotion to the top job was widely expected after three years in which he and Munoz worked to fix an airline that had floundered for several years following its merger with Continental Airlines.
During his tenure, Munoz also underwent a heart transplant and weathered a crisis in which a passenger was dragged off a plane.