United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz received a heart transplant Wednesday and is recovering.
The airline expects him to return to his position at the end of the first quarter or start of the second quarter. United said the procedure was “the preferred treatment” for Munoz, who had a heart attack in October.
United named Brett Hart its acting chief executive in October. Munoz was initially named CEO in September.
Shares of the airline’s parent company, United Continental Holdings, fell about half a percent in extended trading Wednesday. The stock rose modestly in regular trading.
United Airlines said on Wednesday that its president and chief executive, Oscar Munoz, had heart transplant surgery earlier in the day and was in recovery.
The airline said in a statement that the operation was “the preferred treatment” and was not the result of a setback in Mr. Munoz’s recovery from a heart attack in October.
United did not immediately share more medical details, but it said it expected Mr. Munoz to return to work at the end of the first quarter or the beginning of the second quarter. The airline said that it would provide an update on Mr. Munoz’s health on Thursday.
Mr. Munoz had the heart attack shortly after being appointed chief executive in September, although the company declined to confirm it for several days. At the time, United would say only that Mr. Munoz was in the hospital.
On Oct. 19, the airline said that Mr. Munoz would take a medical leave and that its general counsel, Brett J. Hart, would be acting chief. In November, United said it expected Mr. Munoz to return during the first quarter.
Mr. Munoz, a longtime railroad executive, was appointed after United dismissed its previous chief executive, Jeff Smisek, during an investigation into allegations that the airline had traded favors with the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The New York Times