United’s Munoz highly rated—inside his company – Transportation News

on Jun21

21 June 2017 | 2:59 am

United Continental Holdings CEO Oscar Munoz, who survived a heart attack and several coporate PR disasters in less than two years on the job, remains highly admired inside the company, even after United’s most recent image woes.

Munoz won 96 percent approval in an (admittedly unscientific) employee survey by a job-search firm. Five other Chicago CEOs made the top-100 list for companies with a minimum 1,000 employees and 100 responses.

Among firms with fewer than 1,000 employees, Justyn Howard of Sprout Social, a former Crain’s 40 under 40 honoree, was No. 1 with 99 percent approval. His company provides software that helps clients manage social media.

Munoz ranked No. 18 on the big-company list. It covers the year ended May 1 and includes the dragging in April of a United passenger off a plane and denial of boarding to three girls in leggings.

Surveyor Glassdoor, of Mill Valley, Calif., said Munoz’s internal approval rating remained at 91 percent after the notorious incidents. “There’s no significant drop,” said Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor’s career trends analyst. “His leadership to employees has been consistently strong.”

The 2016 news at United contained more-positive notes, starting with Munoz’ return from his health-related leave and ending with elusive labor peace.

Employees cited career growth opportunities, training programs and mentorship from senior leadership and emphasis on customer service and transparency, Glassdoor said. It also cataloged employee satisfaction with organizational changes and technology realignments.

Unionized labor also is on board. In December, 9,000 United mechanics represented by International Brotherhood of Teamsters ratified a contract, the last union to do so following the 2010 merger with Continental Airlines. Flight attendants, pilots, dispatchers and other employee groups reached deals earlier.

In the four prior surveys by Glassdoor, only one Chicago CEO—CDW’s Thomas Richards in 2015—made what was then a top-50 list. This year, three, including Richards (at No. 23), are in the top 50.

The highest-ranked local CEO, at No. 11, was Steve Beauchamp of Paylocity Holding, an Arlington Heights-based online payroll and human resources firm. Others in the top 100, all of whom got at least 90 percent approval, were AbbVie’s Richard Gonzalez (62), Discover’s David Nelms (69) and Northern Trust’s Rick Waddell (81).

Nationally, Benno Dorer of Clorox was No. 1, and SpaceX’s Elon Musk ranked eighth.

Sprout Social’s Howard is on a roll. This month he was named CEO of the year at the Built in Chicago Moxie Awards. Employees participating in the Glassdoor survey cited professional development, “sensible managers” and open lines of communication at Sprout Social.

Paylocity responders praised an accessible CEO and an enduring start-up mentality as the company grows.

Glassdoor’s Dobroski defended survey methodology. Although participation is voluntary, comments are moderated and responders verified by a team headed by a chief economist.

“We make sure the samples we’re asking for . . . meet his input on what is statistically significant,” Dobroski said.

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