Jeff Smisek, the chairman and CEO of United Airlines has announced that he will be stepping down, stemming in part to the investigation into the airline's dealings with a chairman of New York area airports.
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United Continental Holdings Inc. made the official announcement, and also said that two other senior execs had resigned. Oscar Munoz was named CEO and president of the company in the meantime.
All of this stems from the fact that earlier this year, the company and some executives were handed subpoenas from the federal grand journey because of their communications and relationships with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. At the time, United said that they were conducting their own investigation.
The chairman of the Port Authority at the time, David Samson, has also been investigated by the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, including the way that Samson voted on United Airline projects that took place at Newark Airport. Samson has a vacation home in Columbia, South Carolina, and voted to restart planes straight from Newark to Columbia. The route was cancelled two days after Samson stepped down.
Smisek was previously the CEO of Continental Airlines and then moved to United when they merged in 2010. He was under pressure to grow the company, as Delta Airlines was slowly taking over the market and the company experience computer outages and June and July that led to many delays and canceled flights.
According to Fox News, a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission described the terms of Smisek's separation agreement. He will be paid a parting fee of $4,875,000 and will be eligible for a bonus. He will have health insurance until he can get Medicare, and will retain all of the flight benefits and will keep his company car.
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Smisek also agreed to cooperate fully with United "in the defense, prosecution or conduct of any claims or investigations which relate to events or occurrences that transpired" while Smisek was employed.