United CEO Munoz no longer to become chairman

Oscar Munoz, President and CEO of United Airlines, attends a meeting with airline industry executives hosted by US President Donald Trump in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 9, 2017

United Airlines said Friday it no longer plans to name chief executive Oscar Munoz chairman as it revised its compensation program following an uproar over its treatment of a passenger.

Munoz and the airline were slammed with heavy criticism after a passenger was violently dragged off a United flight earlier this month in an incident that sparked global outrage.

Under the previous plan, Munoz had been slated to assume the chairman's role in 2018. But the company amended its contract with Munoz to remove that provision.

"The Board believes that separating the roles of chief executive officer and chairman of the board is the most appropriate structure at this time," the company said in a securities filing.

That design "is a means to ensure that Mr. Munoz is able to more exclusively focus on his role as Chief Executive Officer," it added.

United described its shift on compensation to take into account customer satisfaction as part of "a response to recent events," according to the document.

Executive compensation will now depend on "progress in 2017 on significant improvement in the customer experience at United, and aligned changes to United's culture and processes," the filing said.

United has been under fire since video went viral showing security personnel dragging battered and bloodied passenger David Dao off a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky, to make room for an airline employee.

Munoz apologized for the debacle and said the airline is reviewing its policies and will make further changes. The chief executive was initially lambasted for appearing to suggest Dao was partly at fault for the encounter.

The airline already has announced some policy changes, such as no longer having law enforcement remove customers from overbooked flights.

Munoz was paid $18.7 million in 2016, more than three times the $5.8 million in 2015, the filing showed.