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United Airlines Names New Head of HR

Marc Ugol is the second outsider hired in a senior management role since May 8, when John Tague was named president and COO, replacing Pete McDonald as the second-in-command to CEO Glenn Tilton.

June 6, 2008
Related Topics: The HR Profession, Corporate Culture, Workforce Planning, Latest News
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United Airlines’ shake-up of the executive suite continued Thursday, June 5, with the appointment of a new head of human resources.

Marc Ugol, a former human resources executive at Naperville, Illinois-based Tellabs Inc. and Amoco Corp., joins United from Constellation Energy Group, a utility based in Baltimore.

Ugol is the second outsider hired in a senior management role since May 8, when John Tague was named president and COO, replacing Pete McDonald as the second-in-command to CEO Glenn Tilton.

On Wednesday, United said it hired Joe Kolshak as senior vice president for operations from Delta Air Lines.

Kolshak and Ugol join United as the airline is in the midst of a major restructuring in the face of record oil prices. United said this week that it will cut about one-fourth of its fleet and trim an additional 1,000 of its 7,500 salaried and management jobs worldwide, about half of which are in the Chicago area. It previously said it would cut 500 white-collar jobs.

United, which recently decided against a merger with US Airways Group Inc., now is shrinking the airline, cutting capacity in hopes of trimming costs and gaining some pricing power as other airlines follow suit. Continental Airlines Inc., which held merger talks with United before deciding to remain independent, said Thursday that it is cutting 3,000 jobs and reducing capacity by 11 percent, citing fuel costs that have pushed the industry into its worst crisis since 2001.

American Airlines, which employs about 10,000 workers in Chicago, said last month that it would pull planes out of service and lay off workers, though it didn’t specify the number of jobs to be cut.

Airline stocks, which have been battered in recent weeks, perked up on the cutbacks. United shares rose 10 percent on Thursday to $10.11, topping the $10 mark for the first time since May 21. The stock was trading above $20 as recently as April 21.

This story was filed by John Pletz of Crain’s Chicago Business, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

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