United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz Set to Return to Work Full-Time After Heart Transplant

PHOTO: Oscar Munoz, president and chief executive officer of United Airlines. Wayne Slezak/United Airlines
Oscar Munoz, president and chief executive officer of United Airlines.

United Airlines Chief Executive and President Oscar Munoz, who had a heart attack five months ago and a transplant in January, said he's ready to return to work full-time next week.

"I'm energized by the momentum we have and I’m ready to join you," Munoz said in a video message to employees.

Munoz, 57, suffered a heart attack in October -- just one month after he took over as CEO. He then had a heart transplant in January.

"My new heart makes me feel like I’ve been given a new set of wings, and that reinforces my confidence that, with the wings we all share, we can soar in our quest to make United a great airline for our customers and a cherished place to work," he said in a letter to employees during his recovery. "I will be relying on this sense of team purpose as I transition back. We have some important decisions ahead of us, and we can move forward with the necessary boldness only if we have a shared trust, confidence and respect."

For Munoz, it's been a working recovery. The airline said he had been actively participating in "all major corporate decisions and meeting frequently with employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders during his recovery."

During that time, the company's general counsel, Brett Hart, served as interim CEO.