Airline giant United Continental's image, already facing turbulence from the sudden resignation of its CEO last month, is now having a rockier ride after the company played coy for days over the health status of his replacement — and who is running United in his absence.
Experts in crisis public relations and corporate governance say United's plan for communicating with the public on the heels of Oscar Munoz' hospitalization last week hasn't gone far enough in assuaging concerns among shareholders and the general public.
United has not confirmed, or denied, the accuracy of reports that Munoz suffered a heart attack as late as last Thursday, and has not said how serious his health condition is. And while the company said Monday it will "conclude the corporate governance process necessitated by" Munoz' hospitalization as early as Tuesday, it hasn't said exactly what that means or who might end up running the carrier.
Both statements — and their vagueness — have spurred intense speculation.