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LAXintl
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CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:47 am

Per CNBC poll, United's Jeff Smisek was nominated as one of America's worst CEO of 2013.

http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000225852

You can also send in your own nomination below.
http://www.thestreet.com/story/12143...minations-for-2013s-worst-ceo.html

=


I do wonder what metrics was used as other CEO's included those at American Outfitters have really destroyed shareholder value, while United stock actually has done quite well in 2013.
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Boeing778X
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:55 am

I'm not surprised at all   
What UA needs now, more than ever, is more experienced ex-CO leadership.

Again, CO wasn't the best airline out there, but I was crazy about that airline, and they had good service. I miss them   

If UA is to become what CO was, they'd better start making better decisions, and Mr. Smisek is a good place to start with re-evaluating the company.
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phxa340
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:07 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 1):
What UA needs now, more than ever, is more experienced ex-CO leadership.

You do realize Smisek is ex-CO right ?
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:10 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 1):
What UA needs now, more than ever, is more experienced ex-CO leadership.

Smisek is ex-CO. They need leadership in the mold of Delta's, and they need it badly.

-Mir
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:14 am

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
I do wonder what metrics was used as other CEO's included those at American Outfitters have really destroyed shareholder value, while United stock actually has done quite well in 2013.

   This is really stupid and hyperbolic. I'm no fan, but UA is marginally profitable, the airline is coming together albeit with issues, and the stock is up. There are many, many far worse CEOs out there.
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cle757
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:18 am

Ask most UA employees, not many would argue this!
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atct
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:21 am

Bring back Gordon...
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:26 am

Quoting phxa340 (Reply 2):
You do realize Smisek is ex-CO right ?

I do, but they need more ex-CO leadership. Kellner? Bethune?

Quoting atct (Reply 6):
Bring back Gordon...

Oh, how I wish!
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:46 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 1):
I'm not surprised at all
What UA needs now, more than ever, is more experienced ex-CO leadership.

Huh? He is from CO and he wasn't ready for the job. I actually don't think he was even ready to take over at CO but then to have this huge airline much larger and more global than CO ever was or could dream of being and bringing it through a merger was just too much for him to handle. Although I do think that UA does need a change at top I think that your comments are way off and based on nothing at all. So please enlighten us and tell us why United needs more exCO employees at the top? You mention that UA needs to make changes if they want to become what CO was which is a major flaw in your thinking, UA does not want to become what CO was. CO was a great little airline but UA is a mega global airline that has to change to compete in the global industry and as has been proven the staff at CO wasn't ready to handle that.
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aklrno
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:10 am

Are you people serious? Do you think that news report was in any way meaningful? A few people taking wild guesses about what is bad, reinforced by personal grudges, then supported by a few self-selected voters who may or may not know anything at all about the business in question or maybe any business at all. Happy people do not participate in those meaningless votes. They have better things to do.

TV news doesn't report actual facts much anymore. They are entertainment shows. If they need news they can always just make it up, as the show in question did.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:19 am

This is a ridiculous ranking. United does have big problems to solve, but it's at least making money, even if it is less than its peers, compared to companies that came perilously close to disappearing from the landscape, or did.
How about Thomas Heins from Blackberry, Saul Ortega of First National Bank Texas (biggest bank failure in 3 years), Edward Lampert who can't figure out how to make money, let alone get a decent reputation for Sears, or Randall Stephenson of AT&T because of all the companies involved in the NSA dragnet, he is the only CEO who believes more secrecy is the answer (not for the data of his customers, but for what AT&T does with it).

And for all the "entitled elites" that Smisek has supposedly pushed onto the competition, he could still take lessons from Ron Johnson, formerly of JC Penney, on how to get rid of customers...

Quoting cle757 (Reply 5):
Ask most UA employees, not many would argue this!

Employees are rarely the best judge of a CEO's performance.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:27 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 11):
This is a ridiculous ranking. United does have big problems to solve, but it's at least making money, even if it is less than its peers,

Yeah there are many companies that are doing much worse than UA. But somehow it seems Mr Greenberg is comparing UA to DL, as they are the second mega-carrier formed in the USA, AA/US just merged last Sunday. There really are no people with the experience to run an airline this large, so Smisek is using what skills he has gained so far, and that's it. Richard Anderson is obviously blessed with good luck, good sense, and an ability to know how to get the most from each frame in the fleet, and DL has acquired used planes as well as new. Both these guys are learning how to run such a massive company, one is doing better now, but that does not mean UA can't do better in the future. They had better go back to fully rewarding their bread and butter customers, or risk loosing more top tier flyers to DL, AA or WN.
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Quoting ual747den (Reply 9):
Huh? He is from CO and he wasn't ready for the job. I actually don't think he was even ready to take over at CO but then to have this huge airline much larger and more global than CO ever was or could dream of being and bringing it through a merger was just too much for him to handle. Although I do think that UA does need a change at top I think that your comments are way off and based on nothing at all. So please enlighten us and tell us why United needs more exCO employees at the top? You mention that UA needs to make changes if they want to become what CO was which is a major flaw in your thinking, UA does not want to become what CO was. CO was a great little airline but UA is a mega global airline that has to change to compete in the global industry and as has been proven the staff at CO wasn't ready to handle that.

You do realize that tiny baby CO was larger than and carried more pax both Transatlantic and the Latin America than super duper mega global intergalactic wonder airline UA? Furthermore system wide ASMs UA was a mere 18% larger than CO after years and decline and retreat. In the same time period CO had organically DOUBLED in size. UA had slipped from #1 in EVERY int'l market place (TATL,LatAM, TPac), down to 4th place in most. Clinging to #2 in the trans Pac coasting on the ever eroding network it got from PA. UA was a shadow of it former self, and shrinking more every year!


UA should want to become was CO was! A healthy GROWING franchise with good morale and rep for quality service. Sadly this is not what is happening. In large part do to attitudes like we see here.

[Edited 2013-12-12 04:32:07]

[Edited 2013-12-12 04:32:42]
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 12:42 pm

I have faith in the United brand and have bought SOME stock at a low price because I feel the future will be better. As for Smisek, yes, he probably isn't the best and he will probably will be gone in a few years...But I think UA is slowly getting better. In a few cases, much better. I do fear (a bit) who will take over. Be careful what you wish for! It could get worse!
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WesternA318
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:23 pm

IMHO, it's not about needing more ex-CO leaders at the top, how about a straight up airline guy to run things and get s**t done?! Smisek was never an airline guy. Gordon brought him to CO to turn the airline around initially with trying to get out of the horrendous A300 leases and then moving into the General Counsel spot and up from there. Kellner, despite his banking background, adapted to the airline environment under Gordo's tutelage. Also IMHO, Greg Brenneman shouldve taken over for Gordon back in the 2000's, and let Kellner grow a bit more before he took the reigns. Brenneman was one of the authors of CO's famous Go Forward Plan, and he's also run quite a few other companies (like Quizno's and BK) since his time at CO.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:33 pm

As a loyal (still) UA elite (well, former CO elite turned UA elite by proxy), I feel like there's many worse CEOs out there. Things are UA aren't fabulous, but as others have said, they are getting better. If you look at things like the dated IAD hub, and the neglected UA (747) fleet, the current UA leadership (both the ex-UA and ex-CO sides) inherited a less than stellar operation. Merging two companies of that size is hard, especially when the cultures are so drastically different. Frankly, they need to clean house of people that aren't going to get on the customer service bandwagon. I had a CSR in ORD type on his computer for 20 minutes then said he couldn't help me, and called "next" while I was still standing there. Walked over to another bank of agents, in and out in 5 minutes with smiles on their faces. The worst part of the current state at UA is the inconsistency.

Service isn't to the CO level, but it also hasn't been "bad" enough for me to switch to another carrier (though in all honesty, when you've got 250,000 miles in the bank and are invested with multiple UA credit cards, it would take a bit of a push to make me move). Every single flight I take, call I make to the premier desk, or email dialog with support, I get a survey. Whether or not they act on those surveys is another question, but they seem to "want" the feedback.

The leadership team (Jeff included) may have underestimated some of the integration hurdles, especially the labor negotiations, but he's by no means one of the worst CEO's in America. Every time I've emailed him, he's personally replied within 48 hours, and I'm just a lonely old Gold Elite. It's not like I'm Global Service or anything, but he still took the time to reply instead of dumping it off on a subordinate.

I'm also fed up of DL vs. UA comparisons. Lest we forget that DL is years ahead of UA in merger timeline, and already had behind closed doors merger plans before they both exited CH11 (I worked for DL at the time). They were ready to merge, had already evaluated most of their model, and moved on it swiftly. This is why everyone thinks they're the model for re-branding efficiency--they had all of that CH11 time to figure out a plan.

Give UA a couple of years, then pass judgement (that's my plan).
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:06 pm

CO was a great airline but so was UA - they were just very different. I think the reasonable people on this forum can agree that both airlines had advantages and disadvantages. I think the merger will be successful but Jeff did a horrible job of leading the company through this merger and didn't always pick the best option when choosing between CO and UA systems. I think the biggest problem is his ego, evident in his over exposure in everything United. Also evident in his bragging that he designed the new merged brand identity, hands down the worst decision made during the merger. A good leader will bring the right people in to do their jobs, not be a cowboy thinking he can do it himself.

All of this CO vs UA gets old but there is one thing I haven't see mentioned. Prior to the merger, CO had a huge advantage to the other legacy airlines. They had three fortress hubs with much less competition and one of those hubs (IAH) is in a city (Houston) that has an economy driven by a sector (oil) that has done very well in the past decade and through the recession when most other cities and sectors were hurting. I would argue that this allowed CO enough additional earnings to do things that other airlines couldn't, hence a better airline.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:10 pm

My wife and I are both 1K and are from the CO side as passengers. (I am also a Million Miler.) There is no doubt that UA has had lots of merger related issues. Also, our experience with the UA side has had it's hiccups. But, little by little, things are getting better. Many of the angry and poorly treated pre merger UA staff are coming around. The older UA planes are getting spiffed up or replaced.

Has it happened as fast as we would like? Certainly not. But UA is getting there! I completely agree with the above poster that the NW/DL merger was planned and started during bankruptcy, and got off to a faster start. Also Richard Anderson seems to be more of a people person than Jeff Smisek. But Jeff is getting the job done and the BOD will stick with him. Understand that neither my wife nor I are blind cheerleaders. UA management has heard from us when they screwed up. However, we have sent them more compliments than complaints this year. Between the 2 of us we have flown almost 200,000 miles this year, so I think that our observations have some credibility.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Quoting vgnatl747 (Reply 16):
I had a CSR in ORD type on his computer for 20 minutes then said he couldn't help me, and called "next" while I was still standing there. Walked over to another bank of agents, in and out in 5 minutes with smiles on their faces. The worst part of the current state at UA is the inconsistency.

I agree with the "nastiness with pride" ascribed to customer service at ORD -- most especially the collection of agents next to the C Concourse food court. And don't dare ask a question while they're working on your case, or you'll get, "There's a phone; call Mileage Plus; have them help you." IAD is not far behind. Yet I remember last December 2nd when I misconnected at SEA and agents work for half an hour to get me on the next available flight even though their computer showed no seats. When there turned out to be no bin space on the replacement flight, an agent ran up the jetway ramp -- made baggage bands for my luggage, and (literally) ran back.

So you are correct about 'inconsistency' across the system.

[Edited 2013-12-12 07:35:01]
 
brilondon
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:27 pm

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 12):
Both these guys are learning how to run such a massive company, one is doing better now, but that does not mean UA can't do better in the future. They had better go back to fully rewarding their bread and butter customers, or risk loosing more top tier flyers to DL, AA or WN.

First, I seriously doubt that they would lose top tier flyers to WN. If anybody is going to use WN, it would be based solely on price as some people only see flying as a means to get from point A to point B with as much money still in their pockets as possible.

The CEO of a company is only as good as the people he has working under him. I don't think his leadership is great but there is more than just him to blame for UA's problems. It would be his leadership that either sinks or allows UA to flourish and I don't think that he should be the only person to blame if UA ends up in Chapter 11 or worse.
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FWAERJ
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 11):
Edward Lampert who can't figure out how to make money, let alone get a decent reputation for Sears

Lampert was on the list, along with Cisco's John Chambers. When it comes to Lampert, I have to say that the Sears here is actually quite good, but I've been in some sketchy Sears stores and a bunch of falling-apart Kmarts (even as far back as 10 years ago). John Chambers? Let me say that I was in a Cisco networking class in high school and using Cisco routers wasn't too easy - not to mention the numerous Linksys (which was a Cisco subsidiary for many years) routers in the house that either didn't work or failed quickly (though to be fair, Netgear is even worse).

As for Smisek, I can't speak to UA's product like I can with Cisco and Sears, as I haven't flown UA after the UA/CO merger occurred. But with UA, from Dick Ferris to Glenn Tilton, I was guaranteed to run into at least one rude person per trip. sCO, even in the Lorenzo days (my first flight at six weeks old was IAH-CLE on CO then), was a very good experience. Before the merger, I always had far better experiences with CO than UA.

Around the time of UA/CO, I switched the bulk of my flying to DL, with a G4 flight to Florida flown in, and I've had very good luck with DL. They have better schedules from FWA, better hubs (yes, even ATL), a better product, and better service than UA. But now that UA's schedules from FWA are about to get a little better and UA has supposedly made a lot of customer-facing improvements, I may give UA another chance. Still, my first choice remains DL.
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:01 pm

I agree that Smisek needs to go and UA needs new leadership at the top. The problem is UA does not want to end up with a CEO who is even less qualified than Smisek is. Smisek may have been great at CO but now as a result of this merger he is in way over his head and has no clue how to run a company of this size. So if the board does decide to get rid of Smisek who is qualified to replace him? UA can not afford to end up with someone who is worse than Smisek so are there any qualified CEO who actually would want the job because one thing is for sure it is not going to be an easy task getting UA on the right path.
 
apodino
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:11 pm

I was thinking. Sean Meinke is available. He has experience running an airline, was respected when he was at F9, and also recognized when things were bad and left Pinnacle knowing that he wasn't the one to turn that company around. Since his experience is with running a mainline carrier, and the old F9 had a customer service commitment, maybe UA could give him a crack at running the company.
 
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 4:13 pm

Smisek the worst? No, there are far worse CEO's. But he does seem to have lacked the leadership and implementation skills that his job required to get the merger done, a merger that mostly his idea and which he championed. I pretty much wrote off flying UA in 2012 after the software merger screwed things up to really bad levels. I came back this year, and made elite this year. Honestly, I really didn't think the DL customer service in the air or on the ground was superior to other airlines. I've encountered good and bad crews on every airline. I must say that UA's service has vastly improved this year. But Smisek has done some things in the name of cost savings to cheapen the brand, so there is less differentiation than ever.

I would still question though the necessity of the merger itself. I think there was too much focus ( in Jeff's mind) on total revenues and profits, and not as much on profit margins. You might be a smaller airline, but if you have the best margins, due to younger fleet, better union contracts, favorable facilities, etc., you're still a winner. The merger brought volume and big revenues, but I have yet to see much in the way of economies of scale. I know it's just a guessing game at this point, but had the merger not taken place, I think the profits individually at both airlines would have been higher separately than they are as a merged unit.
 
cxb744
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:20 pm

Smisek was the ex-CO CFO, which means all he looks at is the bottom line (i.e. the $$$). While this is important its not the only thing.
People make the airline, and the new UA has some of the worst Customer Service I have come across.
It seems to me that, so long as you don't have to interact with people at UA your golden. There mobile app and mobile website are light years ahead of any other US carrier.
If Smisek thinks its good business sense to have a new rendition of Rhapsody in Blue by the London Symphony (major $$$) instead of putting that into Customer Service and trying to bring divided work groups together, its time for him to go.
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sshank
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:27 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 22):
I agree that Smisek needs to go and UA needs new leadership at the top. The problem is UA does not want to end up with a CEO who is even less qualified than Smisek is. Smisek may have been great at CO but now as a result of this merger he is in way over his head and has no clue how to run a company of this size. So if the board does decide to get rid of Smisek who is qualified to replace him? UA can not afford to end up with someone who is worse than Smisek so are there any qualified CEO who actually would want the job because one thing is for sure it is not going to be an easy task getting UA on the right path.

While I agree with a lot of what you, say he is not by a long shot one of the worst CEOs. UA and Smisek just look bad because DL executed a near perfect merger (as these things go), and are doing a fantastic job operationally.

Not to say he did not contribute with his "CO way or the highway' attitude (sticking with SHARES, keeping ex-CO folks in most key marketing/revenue jobs). That seems to have softened a bit now that they realize that what worked well at CO is not always the best for an airline the size and complexity of the new UA. While somethings can be fixed (getting the right people in place), others cannot be (SHARES). They still by far have the best network of any airline, and I believe they will muddle through and eventually get things sorted out.
 
MSPNWA
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:29 pm

Often this is a chicken or the egg argument between upper management and common employees. Employees see the lagging financials compared to the competition, complain about the management ruining things, and sometimes lower their performance as a result. If your problem is high labor costs, the profit figure can't compete without some cuts to labor. But that of course makes labor even more disgruntled. All this transitions to the customer, lowering demand for your service, hurting profits again. And so the vicious cycle continues.

Management does plenty of dumb things to hurt companies, but to me, if you're an employee, it should never affect how you do your job. That's a matter of personal pride and responsibility to the customer. You're hired to do something without conditions. If you criticize something or somebody, make sure you're doing your job well first. Then you have a leg to stand on. I just can't stand disgusted airline employees that use that feeling about management as an excuse to underperform. If that's the case, leave. Someone else out there would love to have your job.

Smisek had a disappointing 2012 carrying into 2103. But one of the worst? No way.
 
AADC10
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 7:47 pm

Quoting atct (Reply 6):
Bring back Gordon...

Bring back Dick Ferris...
 
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cosyr
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:27 pm

Smisek is not going anywhere until Labor contracts are negotiated and labor is consolidated. He was the right person to bring CO and UA to and through merger, which was not necessary in the Bethune/Kellner era, but became necessary after Delta/NW. There are CEO's that turn companies around (Bethune, Carlos Gosn), there are CEO's that brong companies through Bankruptcies (Tilton, Horton @AA) and there are stay the course CEO's (Kellner, Anderson). Obviously, that is over simplified, but some people are the right ones for a particular job, and once that job is complete it is time to move on. I don't think CO would have merged under Kellner, and I think the board agreed. If CO had not merged, UA would have picked a different partner, and CO would have been left with whoever was left, not their choice.

When the merger is complete, it will be time for a stay the course CEO to replace Smisek, but not until the messy business of merging labor groups is complete. That way the incoming CEO can just be the "good guy."

As a side note, Gosn did an amazing job turning Nissan around, he turned it from a dull forgotten brand, to one of the biggest and boldest car designers out there, but he did the turn around. That is what he was good at, not the day to day stuff, time to go.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:39 pm

Quoting atct (Reply 6):
Bring back Gordon...
Quoting AADC10 (Reply 28):
Bring back Dick Ferris...

Bring back Pat Patterson.... Those were the real glory days.
 
jetmatt777
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:02 pm

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 27):
Management does plenty of dumb things to hurt companies, but to me, if you're an employee, it should never affect how you do your job. That's a matter of personal pride and responsibility to the customer. You're hired to do something without conditions. If you criticize something or somebody, make sure you're doing your job well first. Then you have a leg to stand on. I just can't stand disgusted airline employees that use that feeling about management as an excuse to underperform. If that's the case, leave. Someone else out there would love to have your job.

You obviously haven't worked for an airline that is salivating at the mouth to outsource your job. Or to micromanage every little detail of your job, that doesn't invest in the tools you need to do your job, that doesn't staff the facility with enough people to handle the number of flights, or doesn't cover people while on vacation leaving you short.

Sometimes it's just hard to deliver quality service every day when you are beaten down every day by management. Every day seems to be a struggle, and there is no end in sight to it. It's unfortunate.

You say find another job, well I might. But what will that do? Someone else will come in (assuming they even try and fill the position), will find the management sucks, and leave. You will have a revolving door of people who do not know what they are doing and do not have any experience. And customer service and product delivery will still be poor.

The people that are hanging on that know what we are doing and have the experience to navigate the many daily situations we run into are doing the customer and company a favor. Because the alternative is, you can have a revolving door of new-hires who do not yet have the experience to find creative solutions to help you in a pinch. Turnover among new-hires is quite high. While the seasoned agents have seniority to lose, 401k, etc. so are sticking around. Although the company doesn't want topped-out agents, many of them know how to do their jobs very well and are extremely helpful in irregular operations and operation recovery. They earn their pay many times a week.
 
atct
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Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Quoting jayunited (Reply 22):
has no clue how to run a company of this size

I see a lot of people mentioning size. I've been all around the industry, from mainline (Delta), regional (corporate airlines / RegionsAir), Corporate (Pt. 91 operation), to Government (the "we're here to help you people"...makes me chuckle everytime). I have seen people at Delta who were over their head, as well as at the smallest regional sub-fleet with 4 planes. I have seen people shine at both levels.

Size means nothing. Knowledge, experience, a take charge attitude, and resilience are what make good leaders. Gordon had this natural ability. I even think Larry had some (very very very smart man). Jeff, has knowledge and experience, but lacks the take charge attitude. He's a lawyer. Cautious and slow. Gordon was the type of man who walked into the room, called a spade a spade, and said WE are going to change this, if you dont like this, I don't care if the door hits ya on the way out. Jeff is very smart man and is a valuable tool to have in a CEO's deck of cards, but a leader, he is not. He isn't a leader at United and he wouldn't be a leader at a small regional. Size means nothing.

atct
Trikes are for kids!
 
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cosyr
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:29 pm

Quoting atct (Reply 32):
Gordon had this natural ability. I even think Larry had some (very very very smart man). Jeff, has knowledge and experience, but lacks the take charge attitude. He's a lawyer. Cautious and slow. Gordon was the type of man who walked into the room, called a spade a spade, and said WE are going to change this, if you dont like this, I don't care if the door hits ya on the way out. Jeff is very smart man and is a valuable tool to have in a CEO's deck of cards, but a leader, he is not.

I completely agree. I respect Smisek, but I don't think he is the right guy long term.
 
mptpa
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:06 am

From product and service perspective, they had a chance to revamp their products to the level of Asian carriers for international ops. B787 Business is pathetic; UA global First should not be even called first. AC B787 is much more superior and look at the 'real' First products out there. They should start here. Who are the members of the focus group? Are they listening???? I am a 1K and do >200,000 miles a year and I am kind of stuck .... Wish they could start the revamp here, and then revamp the soft product too. Service is so inconsistent. Wish they could spend their money better.
 
jayunited
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Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:03 am

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:18 am

Quoting mptpa (Reply 34):
From product and service perspective, they had a chance to revamp their products to the level of Asian carriers for international ops. B787 Business is pathetic; UA global First should not be even called first. AC B787 is much more superior and look at the 'real' First products out there. They should start here. Who are the members of the focus group? Are they listening???? I am a 1K and do >200,000 miles a year and I am kind of stuck .... Wish they could start the revamp here, and then revamp the soft product too. Service is so inconsistent. Wish they could spend their money better.

Although this has nothing to do with the topic I feel it necessary to respond to your post.
This past summer UA invited some GS and 1K customers to Willis Tower to get their feed back on new premium seating design this information was posted on a.netters and to be clear they were not just looking at drawings they were testing out several new actual seats. It takes time for airlines to come up with new designs for premium seats then get feed back from customers then test the seat and receive FAA certification. None of this could have been accomplished before the 787 enter service with UA. While I agree that both the s-CO and s-UA premium seats are lacking when compared to their European and Asian counterparts both companies were well into retrofitting their existing fleets with lie flat seating and had already invested millions in their new product so there was no way for them to hit the stop button and go back to the drawing board to design a true premium seat. So the money that you are referring to was spent before either of these airlines merged. But if you search the archives you will see a thread devoted to this topic. UA realizes that our existing premium product does not measure up and they are working to correct that problem but you can not roll out new premium seats in a couple of months there is a lot of work and an extremely long certification process that must take place prior to the roll out. Now while I don't know exactly where UA is at in this process I can tell you that behind the scenes the revamp of our premium seats has already begun.
 
tpaewr
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:25 am

Quoting mptpa (Reply 34):
products to the level of Asian carriers for international ops

this is another interesting meme I have not really experienced. I have flown P/J on OZ,CA,NH,TG,AF,LH,VS,IB and I never really felt the Asian (or Euro) carriers lived up the hype. I will concede the F/A are younger and better looking, and the service on avg is somewhat better (as is the booze). But to a large degree the food is the same slop, and lie flat seats are lie flat seats. I find the sUA J a bit cramped, but whatever it is a bed. I'd never go out of my way to fly an Asian airline is UA/DL/AA had better routing. Some like CA are frankly AWFUL, what they served as food in biz wouldn't pass in the Y cabin on AF!

I often wonder if when we say "Asian Carriers" we really mean SQ? And expect a large network carrier like UA to offer the niche product they do? If so that is silly. Apples and Oranges
 
sdexplorer00
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:27 am

I'm a frequent United flyer as well and really want to give management the benefit of the doubt, but Delta is undoubtly better run on all levels at this point. The person who I'd like to see be given a shot is Jim Whitehurst. He got great tutaledge under Gerald Grinstein at Delta but was passed over for the CEO spot when Gerry retired. He was instrumental in bringing Delta through bankruptcy though.
 
rising
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 1:48 am

These come out every year and do not do much more than give rise to an easily excitable crowd.
If it doesn't make sense, it's probably not true.
 
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malaysia
Posts: 2668
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:56 am

Bring in Robert Six if that were possible
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
ECAMActions
Posts: 303
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:37 pm

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:10 am

I expect UA to cut it's fleet and routes massively in the future. I expect them to be smaller than delta and southwest.
 
Rdh3e
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:23 pm

Quoting ecamactions (Reply 39):
I expect UA to cut it's fleet and routes massively in the future. I expect them to be smaller than delta and southwest.

Reasoning?
 
gigneil
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:59 pm

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 20):
John Chambers? Let me say that I was in a Cisco networking class in high school and using Cisco routers wasn't too easy - not to mention the numerous Linksys (which was a Cisco subsidiary for many years) routers in the house that either didn't work or failed quickly (though to be fair, Netgear is even worse).

That's the most ridiculous analysis of a CEO ever made.

Cisco's products are high end pieces of technology - they're designed to do what they do, and what they do isn't easy. Hence, using them isn't easy. Cisco Systems was for a long time the most valuable company in the world, at well over a half trillion dollars in value.

It would be like saying that McNerney is a terrible CEO of Boeing because I can't fly an airplane.

NS
 
ECAMActions
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:23 pm

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 40):

Staggering loses.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:47 pm

Quoting ecamactions (Reply 42):
Staggering loses.

They're a hugely profitable business. So, I know you love to troll, but you gotta at least have something marginally correct to be good at it.

NS
 
Alexfreddi17
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:41 pm

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:33 am

Worst CEO? I wouldn't call the CEO of a big company , as United, that answer emails to a former employee,in another country, in a Sunday afternoon , to help solve work related questions and just a few hours after the email has been sent, the worst CEO in the industry.
The relationship between coworkers was or still is one of the biggest challenge of the merge. Different cultures.
 
777ord
Posts: 681
Joined: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 pm

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:28 am

lol... Here we go.... AGAIN.

Confusing bad CS with a profitable CEO? But I will admit, that was a good quick analysis of the company.
 
apodino
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:12 am

Quoting Tigerguy (Reply 50):
Quoting ecamactions (Reply 48):

You didn't address the fact that the operation is losing money.

Not to take away from the yay/nay on Smisek, I took a look at their most recent financial report. Now, all I did was do a find on "operating" and skimmed down the parts with all of the numbers, but I missed the part where the operation side lost money. Perhaps you can show me that part, but I didn't see it. Again, I didn't give it a thorough look, but I don't think I was too far off the mark, if in fact I was.

I think the point he is making is without ancillary fees, UA would be losing money, and that UA needs to find a way to be profitable without relying on ancillary fees, and he is also stating that the competitors would all be profitable with or without these fees. That is a fair argument to make in my opinion, though I am almost ashamed to say it since most of the guys posts are without merit.

The key thing is, can UA be sustainable long term on the profits of only ancillary fees? That is the question that is going to need to be answered in the future, because UA doesn't seem to be making any attempt to be profitable with or without them. (I am not saying the fees are going away or should, I am just saying the fees will be added profit in addition to the profit the operation would make without them)
 
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cosyr
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RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:46 am

Quoting apodino (Reply 46):

I think the point he is making is without ancillary fees, UA would be losing money, and that UA needs to find a way to be profitable without relying on ancillary fees, and he is also stating that the competitors would all be profitable with or without these fees

Except that Delta collected more fees than they made profits, so they also could not make money without fees. Even the free loving Southwest charges fees and welcomes the extra revenue. I hate the nature of it, but I have to admit that fees may just be the thing to bring stability back to the airline industry. And it would be the 1st time since 1978.
 
klkla
Posts: 852
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2004 8:51 am

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:10 am

Maybe it would be more fair to list him as one of the most mediocre CEOs of the year,

The problem is the BOD did not bring him on to be mediocre. He has so far squanderd what should be the best route network of an US carrier. Just based on the route network UA should be more profitable than DL.

They should give him a firm timeline to make the corrections or find someone else.
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4520
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: CNBC: UA's Smisek One Of Worst CEO's In America

Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:00 am

Any CEO that thinks slashing at employees to increase profits is a true bum. If a CEO is willing to dip into the employees wallets to increase profits, the CEO should be leading by example. Smisek needs to take a step down, and UA needs a leader that can bring out the best of what UA has to offer. This airline has amazing potential, but it is not being run to the besf of its abilities. UA needs someone that can freshen the airline, and run it like a diamond. UA needs a new identity, a new marketing campaign. UA seems so dull, and so average. Bring back the tulip, give the employees a pat on the back, and make this airline shine.

The employees of UA have been kicked, thrown, and beat for years now! Leave them alone, and fix what is broken. UA has some incredible talent working the rank and file. I can only wish them the best, and encourage brighter days for them!
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