United Airlines is yet again poised to announce new board appointments just one month after three new directors were appointed. This move is designed to prevent a protracted battle with activist investors, according to people with knowledge about the matter.
These recent developments show that the biggest carrier in Denver International airport is caving in from the pressure being exerted upon it by Altimeter Capital Management and PAR Capital Management, both activist shareholders.
Once again, United is rearranging its board of directors, the one thing that these activist investors are pushing the company to execute.
With this board restructuring, Barney Harford, former CEO of Orbitz Worldwide and Edward Shapiro, managing partner and portfolio manager at PAR, will join the board of United Continental Holdings Inc., the parent company of United Airlines.
This new deal stops short of the lineup of six activist investors from Altimeter and PAR which have called for shareholders to vote onto the company's board this June. That included Gordon Bethune, former chief of Continental Airlines.
Meanwhile, Henry L. Meyer, United Chairman will resign his post and vacate his board seat. Charles A. Yamarone and John Walker will also go the same way since they stated that they will no longer stand for re-election at the company's annual meeting in June.
Another director, mutually accepted by Altimeter and PAR, will be joining the board of directors in the next six months, according to reliable sources.
Additionally, the former chief executive of Air Canada, Robert Milton, who joined the board of United last month, will be appointed non-executive chairman when the company's annual meeting in June takes place. He will be replacing Henry Meyer.
Oscar Munoz, CEO of United, who has just returned, hinted that he will defer his plan of becoming the board chairman of the company until the annual meeting in 2018, instead of the 2017 meeting which was prescribed in his employment contract.