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If you can access it, the WSJ has a great article looking at the events surrounding the surprising and sudden downfall of United CEO Jeff Smisek. (If you can’t access it, try ATW, here.) As most will know by now, Mr Smisek and two other executives stepped down yesterday owing to a ”federal probe” into the airline’s relationship with the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, David Samson.

It all looks rather grubby, on the face of it. United apparently put on a weekly flight to an airport near Mr Samson’s holiday home, while, during his tenure, the airline also sought to renegotiate its lease terms at the airport. (The flight was cancelled just a few days after Mr Samson left the authority). Whatever the truth of the case, Mr Smisek will live comfortably enough – he receives a severance payout of $4.87m, outstanding salary and benefits “such as share awards, as well as lifetime flight and parking benefits, and the title to his company vehicle” – although he has a two-year non-compete clause.  He is replaced by Oscar Munoz, United board member and president and COO of CSX Corp, the railway company.

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