Turnaround Time

by Oscar Munoz

Go behind the scenes of the aviation industry as Oscar Munoz tells soulful lessons about how he rose from humble immigrant origins to lead United Airlines through one of modern business’ greatest turnarounds, navigating crises and even a heart transplant along the way, but ultimately inspiring his employees to unite and fly as one.

A life spent between the clouds and concourses

More about Turnaround Time –

United Airlines, the iconic brand that invented the “Friendly Skies” and built modern aviation, was anything but united in 2015. Its reputation with customers was in freefall, along with operational reliability and profits. Internally, the employee union was doing battle with management; externally, competitors were pushing into coveted routes. United needed a new captain to turn things around, fast.

Five years later, United emerged as a true aviation success story, leading the industry in operational reliability, employee and customer relations, environmental sustainability, the recruitment and training of women and people of color as pilots – and its stock was up 54%.

While trying to bring United back to life, a private drama was unfolding: 37 days into the job, Munoz suffered a heart attack, launching an against-the-clock race for a heart transplant, all while he led United – even from a hospital bed – through its crucible moment.

A Mexican immigrant and the first Latino to run a major airline, Oscar Munoz was an unlikely choice to take the helm, and he proved himself a very kind of different CEO. Embarking on a global listening tour, talking with thousands of employees and customers, he sold United’s board on an unconventional Wall Street-defying strategy: Put Employees First. He believed the people of United, who had kept faith through it all, needed someone to believe in, and who’d believe in them.

In Turnaround Time, Oscar lets the reader in on the trade secrets of a life spent between the clouds and concourses and tells the story of how the world’s largest airline went from looking like it was slouching toward the bitter end of its one-hundred-year story and somehow found a way to turn itself around, reinvent itself, inspire itself, and emerge as a truly ‘United” airline.

Five years later, United emerged as a true aviation success story, leading the industry in operational reliability, employee and customer relations, environmental sustainability, the recruitment and training of women and people of color as pilots – and its stock was up 54%.

While trying to bring United back to life, a private drama was unfolding: 37 days into the job, Munoz suffered a heart attack, launching an against-the-clock race for a heart transplant, all while he led United – even from a hospital bed – through its crucible moment.

A Mexican immigrant and the first Latino to run a major airline, Oscar Munoz was an unlikely choice to take the helm, and he proved himself a very kind of different CEO. Embarking on a global listening tour, talking with thousands of employees and customers, he sold United’s board on an unconventional Wall Street-defying strategy: Put Employees First. He believed the people of United, who had kept faith through it all, needed someone to believe in, and who’d believe in them.

In Turnaround Time, Oscar lets the reader in on the trade secrets of a life spent between the clouds and concourses and tells the story of how the world’s largest airline went from looking like it was slouching toward the bitter end of its one-hundred-year story and somehow found a way to turn itself around, reinvent itself, inspire itself, and emerge as a truly ‘United” airline. 

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