Oscar Munoz, President & CEO, United Airlines, on Knowing Yourself
Thank. You so much for joining us as our first view from the top Speaker of, the year as you can see by all the students here we are very excited to have you. So. Dean, levin mentioned. The. Fact, that you. Were. Born, in mexico and, you grew up as the eldest of nine siblings in. A working-class, family in southern california, how. Has that experience shaped, you. Yeah. I was probably I was, one of the original dreamers right before, they had cool names for it. But. Let's be clear they did have names for it they weren't very. Very. Nice I. Think. I think. Environment. I, think how you grow up who you grow up with as. A meaningful, impact on who you are as a person there's. A lot of you in this room you've all had very different upbringing. And. I, know from my heritage in particular, I think the Latino population is. One that's very family-oriented. Humble. In general and. Again, more, importantly just, loyal sometimes, to a fault and, that. Is all shaped me and then the hard work aspect, of that and. So you, know it's just those those are my foundations, I didn't know to do anything else you know the concept of entitlement, when you're an, original dreamer, not. Particularly, strong in your world so that. Did shape me who I am and it does affect how I make decisions to this very day I think. I make a lot of decisions we as a corporation make a lot of decisions that are. Founded. On some of that upbringing, that I have. And. Like, some of the students in the audience today you were also, the first in your family to go to college and, you. Were deciding, between some great universities, the. Stanford, of the East as Dean Levin how, to quickly put it and USC, you. Chose USC. Where. The Boston winters too cold. Well. On, the on the west coast there was a better football program, at the time, clearly. Not the case now. No, you know what the, story behind that is again, being a first-generation which. I hear some of you in the room our, first generation undergrads, raise your hand. Huge. Respect guys it's some. Big, responsibility. For you and your families but not. Knowing I mean literally the way I chose I decided that I had to go to college I was walking down the hallway late to a class and mrs.. Duckworth, one of our high school counselors, stopped. Me and said are you Oscar and it's like oh crap I'm in trouble, because. Why Alice the high school counselors stop you right we. Ate just taken those pSATS, or whatever and she goes where are you thinking of going to college, my. Answer was honest. To goodness, what's. A college I, might. Bring. Him my neighborhood, it wasn't just the Latino thing it was just just, where we lived it just wasn't something you did you went to high school you. Got married you had kids and you lived happily ever after and that was great but, this offered me insight. And the view and to this day I hold, her and high, degree. Of respect and give. Her a lot of comfort, to take me down that path she helped me with applications. And all sorts of things to get there and that's how I decided to go to college now the choice of where and where that was just my, story of when I went to the other school, was just hilarious. Joke, I mean talk about to country rubes I grew up in Hines in Beach I was a surfer kid right, I mean, imagine.
Harvard, Yard and somebody. In shorts flip-flops a t-shirt and hair down to here with. A blue collar dad with just. We were just even. Then at a young age I knew that you have to find your way find your spot and go there and that just didn't feel like the way no, regrets, I know it was yes he was great yeah, and. You. Had a heart attack 38, days after. Taking over as the, CEO and I did. Got. To cover the personal gonna cover the personal oh yeah. That was interesting and you then had a heart as a career thing I don't recommend, that yeah. And. Then, you would have a heart transplant on your birthday in early 2016. Yeah, so this Saturday night this, last couple Monday's ago the 15th of October, marked the third year that, my. Third anniversary of having the actual heart attack and. We always we don't celebrate it as much but it gets raised. It's. An emotional, day. Because, you realize, what you have versus, what but, could have been I might, be here. This. Coming Saturday night, my, my, transplant doctor my cardiologist and some of my very close friends and of course my family we're celebrating, the L and John has gone his last tour, and so. We're celebrating something on, that regard but yeah. The 37 that was that was crazy. Life. Is, in. All our plans and. All the things that you're doing are wonderful, I'm telling, you you know you hear all these axioms, and all these, superlatives. And broad majors, about lived life to its fullest, and you know bolo. You only owe Yolo and. You. Know what there's a degree of truth to those things you never know what's gonna happen and that was my that, was my situation but yeah 37 days and then the transplant on my on my on my. Birthday. There's. A degree of fortunate. Of blessings, of being lucky they're, important, in life and I am all of those in a damn. Glad to be here as they say yeah so, how have your perspectives. And behaviors, change, day. To day, they. Really haven't I think. I do appreciate life in general more and there's moments. Of sort. Of personal, emotion, and drama when I celebrate, anniversaries, like that or, why I have to tell a story or I have to visit someone in the hospital that's, going through something like that it's, a it's, not only a physical issue, with. You personally it also is emotional, and then it impacts all your loved ones and it's. Important, I think to keep a very positive attitude so, all of that I do a lot more. Hospitals literally all over the world and I'll see folks and talk to them just by the nature of what I do and, my usual. Energetic. Rambling. Self people look it's like hey you looks normal and when. They know what I've been through it's a it's a bit of a motivator. For people to get out of there. Out, of their funk because. I'm, Tanya doctors are very conservative, and they'll tell you all of these things you shouldn't do like I. Shouldn't be in any enclosed spaces, with a lot of people airplanes. I, shouldn't. Be you know hanging around with it's. Like everything. I'm not supposed to do I couldn't, possibly live, without, doing, and that's. My choice and my doctors. Generally keep up with me but it. Is an important, part of again, back to the question you asked earlier with regards to you, know who you are as a person. It, it does it things like that shape, you would change you but Who I am how I approach things that. Had nothing to do with it and I ask that all my loved ones like have I changed and I'm like no you're still the same, crazy. Person, that I've always been yeah, so, I want. To talk about sort. Of how your. Personality and that that, thinking, and that process led, you to take the role at United, so. When you took over as CEO you and you, inherited. A company that was still struggling to overcome some, of the challenges from the merger with Continental and, it's. Not common, for airline CEOs. To come from outside, of the industry. Why. Did you believe it was the right job for you I, think. It's back to my fundamental. Foundation, of who I am and what I think I can do and advice I give to all of you you really, have to know who, you are it's. Y'all know thyself thing. And. And I always did know thyself , and then I write a really big really with. An exclamation point not, though not the self that you think, and you want to project to others that you are the. Real self the real self and in the middle of the night your minds going we, are all Petty. And jealous and. Greedy and. Angry. All of those things those are pure wonderful human, qualities, the, more you understand, yourself the more you know your pet election in those areas I'm telling you it's the best of, yourselves when you know that I think part of mature, I think part of growing up I, think of part of having success you're able to have these conversations and, I'm telling you know, yourself, really, and when you do and so, back to the application of me I know what I love I know what I like and I love the work that we were doing at the railroad but it was a railroad it was a b2b was Freight, it was very industrial, very labor oriented, we taken we had great, runs as.
The Dean mentioned with regards to what we have done financially, but, there was always something missing for me and I missed the things from my coca-cola, and Pepsi, Cola days branding. Mechanism, marketing, connecting. With other humans I thought that was really important and more. Importantly being on the board I saw some. Of the frustration, in our employee base I saw some of the firm's with precision with her customers and I certainly saw where again back to knowing myself what, do I get the most energy from, well, it is capturing the hearts and minds of many many folks in a large organization. And I'm thinking I can do that and then I had a couple board members who were really instrumental in, another. Sort of initiative objective. Of mine in my life is how, do you make a difference in this world and what from what platform, can you make it and we. All have different platforms, and we can all do different goods in different areas but, taking, a big brand. Like United, Drive. In a turn around having success, gives. You a platform to really advocate to, really do good things for the community do good things for the environment for you know you name it I now, have a voice on a platform that I wouldn't have without that and one, of our board members a guy named Walter Isaacson, you guys may have heard of them arguably. The best living, American writer today he. Called me in from two hours he just berated me about taking this role because I was literally going to be the CEO at this next company and I'm like in days and. He's, like you have the opportunity, Oscar to changed, the face of American. Capitalism and. That. Was like you know that's only something something, like an author of his renown would say and, I'm like well, dang I'm so good, I'm, just hoping to get free flights or something. But. When he said that and it's actually sparked a lot of conversations, that I've had not, only with my employees but in general I like to say things, like we're, building a company. That's not only profitable, but, principles, and that, you can be both and more importantly that by being principled, you can actually be even more profitable, and as, you guys get into your careers you're starting, mid, or. Beginning, to reach from school back into the work it. Is becoming an ever increasing.
Level Of attention from the new generation, that you bring right, it's not just the products not the what you do like, we do to perform but it's also the how you do it and I, think I can do both and and so that was an opportunity that I think I had at United, that I may or may not have had really at CSX, cuz you probably wouldn't have me here if I was at CSX, just. Saying I think no. Well dr. Parker knows me so maybe I would be I. Want, to come back to the platform discussion, in a little bit but the. The phrase that you use the road, to changing the face of American capitalism that road hasn't. Been the smoothest Road aside from the personal challenge we, call it turbulence. Yes. Exactly. When. There. Are a series of incidents last year including, the. Forced removal of a passenger on a United flight and, separately, the deaths of animals. On on. United. Flights and. I. Guess. What I'm curious about is what lessons, you've. Publicly acknowledged and apologized for this and. On, many occasion but. For. The students what lessons have you learned through that experience. First. And foremost and, when we talked beforehand, little ISM and Patrick. I said there's nothing off, the table ask, me whatever the heck you want, period. It's like there is nothing that I'm, anything. About and because everything. We do is learning there is turbulence and everything that we do that, situation, has sparked, what I believe, will be the major. Cog and United's turnaround, over time is that it got our collective, stuff together, about, we, we are such a big, company with big operational. Requirements. Where safety and security have, to be art, topmost. That's right um, it has to be policies. And procedures, are rigorous, they're demanding, and more, importantly they're constrictive. And they don't give you a lot of room for what, we are trying to build now which is a caring, culture and so, in that particular instance the learning was we let our policies, and procedures get, in the way of doing the damn right thing right who in their right mind would bring in police and that, we all saw the video right I mean 500 million. Views in China I was. Out visiting and I'm like that's boy that. Doesn't teach you something it does. But. It was a catalyst, to what we've established from. That point forward we've established so, many more customer oriented our philosophy, in our next journey after we've done what we've done so far is I, want to make you we want to make you feel, better.
About Flying us, that. Mean I put, that in your spreadsheet, you, can't but. You can because. If you think about how we built this company to this day inside, the ride the first thing I did is I regain the, trust of my employees that was my first big saying. To Wall Street on, Wall Street went just apoplectic. Like what the hell does that mean he's from outside the industry doesn't, know what the hell he's doing and the first thing he says he's gonna be nice to people you. Know and and what is that gonna how is that what's the return on that well you fast forward a year later our operations, are you settled our union contracts our operations, are doing best we bled the last two years and on, on time, origination. We're, getting our planes out on time and we, haven't invested a huge amount of money we've invested, in human capital right and getting those trust so build the trust of employees get that right build your operations, then build a strategy a business, strategy which all of you love right we're all that's the sexy part that, sexy, part eight don't work without, the human capital underneath, it and that's another thing that we always forget is that trust, me in that large an organization, that's so, spread, all, over the, Oliver God's green earth literally, because we're a global company you, have to get that right and then build from that and so, that's, the foundation for the things that we've been doing and this next journey is about the customer making you feel better and that is probably the most arduous. And difficult thing, because it's hard to measure you. Tell me every day. You can tell me I mean, MPs it's, such a hard thing because if, your coffee wasn't the right temperature, if somebody's sitting next to you had a dog. That was the size of. Bosnia. I mean I'm. Gonna get in trouble for saying but nothing against Bosnia. But. They're saving all of you our frequent fliers you all have your views about what's right we're chatting, in the back about if I ever write a book I'm, gonna title that there is no good deed that goes unpunished in this business because, if I do something for customers Wall Street gets upset if I do something for Wall Street employees, and customers get upset if I do something for so it's always this constant thing and you're a demanding. Wonderful. Crowd and so by it my thing I would tell you is that people, like to catch you in these kind of conversations, especially on national TV well Oscar don't you think the customer's always right and I, said you know what unfortunately, in this day and age safety. And security are paramount, and to the extent that we can after, taking care of those two we, want to put you at the center of everything we do and that's a difficult task but you have to understand safety, and security are key I'd love to have you just show up at the airport and get on any damn plane you want yeah come on in get on Southwest. Does that I think. Sorry. He's. Gonna come after me. So, we, live, with word gosh, we've got so much to do still yeah, and how, do you balance that. That. What you just discuss so investing, in a better customer experience, while. Maintaining the, cost discipline, required, for profitability, in, the, short term expectations, from Wall Street and a highly, competitive industry how do you balance that see this is where these are the things that you. Need you we, need to learn more of even, at this relatively young edge so, I call that debate NPS. You, know a net promoter versus EPS, because. In our world that's. The trade-off, I mean it's sometimes, you just have this decision where do, I put more seats in the airplane well you don't like that but it, you, know density, and overhead absorption and, all the things that we know. Makes. Sense for us so how do we balance those two things well you there trade-offs, and more. Importantly for us at United what we're doing is we're listening to you our customers like what's important to you does. This matter to you does it really do how do we do this remember we roll things out we test it with a lot of different folks we, just introduced something called better boarding, and you're like how. Boring, is that right, boarding, really well, it's one of the highest stress points how do I know that I asked.
You. And. It's, going like gangbusters what you went from five to two and everybody's gone from two to three and a half that nobody's, done this all the time what they haven't done the secret sauce of why ours is working as I spent my team spent eight months working. With customers and with, gate agents who do what oh yeah they do this for a living every. Single day they, know how things board and what works and what doesn't so are really smart people would do it flows and the regressions, and the statistical, analysis that says this or that. The. First sign of a plan. First falls apart at the sign of the enemy and for us the enemy is our own people's like this is stupid this doesn't work why don't we try this why don't we try that and so, the concept of involving, folks is it requires, patience, it, requires you putting your ego and your intelligence often, aside right, you're all kind of come out of here with a Stanford, degree guide you guys have had a massive, leg up but if you go back in your workplaces what I call all asses. And elbows right, they'll, blowing people out of the way because, you're so damn smart. I'm. Telling you one of the things that we learn as. We gain, more experience, one, of the saddest. Things that you have is, middle, to senior middle managers, who lament, the, fact that their careers have. Not gone, like they planned and they, look around and, everybody, else I'm. So smart I'm so capable no, one recognises, that ladies. And gents on you it is a meritocratic, world, out there people. Noticed quality, people notice leadership, people rewarded, to this very day there's pockets with bias and and and, racial, things and then sex Allison, no question but in general as a whole, people. To get ahead because you've made an effort to get ahead and that's, and all those axioms about treating others and not having an agenda and working all that sort of thing but, it's, the saddest, thing when people are that age and they just haven't figured out the EQ, side of things you have. To make yourself the kind of person that, people. Are willing to come up to and provide. Advice and, I. Run a really big company and you'd. Be appalled at some of the conversations, that people have with me when, someone's upset they. Will yell at me they, will stand, there and they'll do, this and I'm loving, every minute of it because, at the end of the day sharing. Is caring. Right. And, if you're yelling at me I still. Have a shot at you it's like and. And that has made the biggest difference in our company because, they know they can have that output but and then once you do that you can you begin to capture hearts and minds and then, when you ask them to ask them to do and we ask ourselves to do things it's. A lot easier way of doing it so it's, a. Long. Question to a one I don't even remember what you have. Okay. So. I do have to admit to the audience that I am, a, United. Loyalist, and status, status, holder I. I. Know I know I. Know, firsthand, how a mode is from Boston the first thing I questions like why do you have a hyphenated, last name. That. Was actually his first question today. Another. Trick to interviews always turn the tape yes. I. Do, know firsthand how emotive and even tribal. People. Can be about their Airlines. However. Some have had as. We've discussed some very negative experiences, with United and some. Have even stated, that they would quote unquote never, fly the airline again why. Should they reconsider, a a. Funny, thing so, I over. Time you get to know people everywhere and some of the SNL cast I become. Friendly with and. Everybody knows we can update right if, you go back to the time when they. They. Reported, on the DAO incident, that's the, flight. What, we had to, that. Flight. Earlier. In the week that somebody, had found a scorpion, and one of our overhead bins and so. He. Leads Yost, leads with this and tonight in the news you're not airlines have you know found of you know scorpion. Another thing and he's like many kind of smells nice thinking but honestly, that wasn't the worst news. Of the week for United and they, were briefed and meant just mentioned it they were very nice to us they just mentioned it briefly as they do for everyone else and then he stares into the camera because I won't never fly images with the serious, face pause, pause. Until. They have a good price to wherever I want to go then of course. There's. A guy that really. Used to run Spirit Airlines which. He. He. Would carry around these twelve letters and, he'd. Open one of the letter and to be somebody saying I'll never fly this airline ya know this and and. The, remaining eleven letters were from the same, customer.
Over The course of two or three years the. Economic. Impact. That the price of things makes, it makes difference to all of us there's no question you, may not fly someone again whatever people, are very emotional about this, business it's very personal, to them which is why our purpose, and mission is about connecting, people not, the physical, connection, from point A to point B but, connecting, you as a human being just something that's really important, to you somewhere else and that's the foundation of our shared purpose then, again back to my previous come involved. Ninety thousand people telling, me telling us what was important, to them so connecting. People in that more you, know, personal. Way and then uniting, the world which. Is an, interesting thing that came out because it's really led me and us to be able to do a lot of you. Know take stands in and docket, dreamers, the you, know separation, of children, gun. Control and some of the issues that survived there because, you know when you have a shared purpose that's uniting in the world that you're 90 thousand employees I told you it gives you a responsibility, to take action and and take a position on some of those things so. So. What a transition, to speaking about some, of the management and leadership challenges. And and some of the things that you've done recently. Many. Do not realize that the flight attendant crews from. The United Continental merger, continued, to work separately for, over, eight years, that. Is until earlier this month when, you successfully, finalize the deal with the unions, how. Did you succeed, in reaching a deal after so long and, can, you share some negotiating, tips with us. So. The actual, contractual, deal was signed a couple years ago when. We agreed on the contract implementing. The contract was what was just transpired. You. Had 26,000, people flight attendants, who, are the front the face the, you know the brand to some degree coming, from two different cultures all, of you will study mergers and acquisitions, we'll do all the math the, synergies, how costs can be down more all the things that we like to do, the. Human integration, of different cultures, along. With the systems, that support them are very critical and how, you handle, those and how you manage them because there's, so much more pride and so much more history, and so much more resistance. To change in. Those kind of mergers and integrations so it took us a while the contract had been going on for five years and. When. I came it's just my style I had I had this, is where history will always follow. You so, I had spent 10 plus years at a railroad, where, we were largely, Union oriented, and unions, tend to be headed by the same people across, on a national, level when. A union from one company when you switch to other company calls, the Union people the other company and say that's. A good guy he's, gonna work with you huge. Huge. Benefit. To starting a question, so I don't make that up I don't do that it's just the way I work and the way you work with people now, my dad was a union meat cutter my, uncle. Was headed the IBEW in, California, it started, unions, in Los, Angeles, would, literally when there was people were getting killed for organizing. Things so I grew up in that environment I've seen the value of it to some degree I also see some of the deficiencies as we move forward but nevertheless it's, the world they've chosen and you have to admire you have to respect it more importantly you have to acknowledge it, right, seek first to understand. Then to, be understood and, we, don't do that your Union guy you clearly, don't have my best interest in mind you know what try it and and, I think once you build that a little bit of that history it made a difference when we came to United and we settled that five-year contract in one year and it wasn't you serious, it wasn't you know given, everything away we have a very fair contract, for both which is the way it should be right, fair, day's pay for a fair day's work and. The, only thing that needs to be negotiated is. What a fair day and what is fair pay. Ladies. And gentlemen there's many books written on that but. Having a relationship to start the conversation is much easier than not in my mind. So. Being located, in Silicon, Valley Stanford, students are often drawn into, the, startup and the technology, companies, in this area after graduation. But. Why should we consider working for a more established, company such as united instead, um. Well, again back to the concept of know thyself. What. Makes you tick if. You're just following parent.
Again I have to be careful, because my children. Have all become bankers and consultants. Not. That anybody wants to do that here. In. Tech, is a great space and, if you're good at it you really love it and it's something you want to do and it, really. Make. Motivation, get you going go do that thing the, sooner you learn that what you love and what you want to do and what makes you passionate and you, go do that I'm telling, you you're, young you have lots, of life left. You. Go do something just for the money just cuz what's your friend that's just currently what's hot you'll, wake up sometime, in that career, and say oh dang, it I wish I had done something else so. Again, back to nobody, knows yourself better than you than you and so, think, hard about those things and that's what you want to do wonderful. Go do it it's all great training ground but, sometime between it's, kind of like choosing a major in undergrad right. Go try all the different things but, some point in time the school calls you the Dean call you say dude you gotta pick. Life. Won't, tell you that they'll let you in life will let you go on but at some point in time your, personal, well-being, how. You reflect, with the people around you how, you how, you're productive to, your community, and more importantly how you interact, with your loved ones and you all have loved ones it, makes a meaningful difference if you're doing something you really like I love. What I do it's I. Won't. Say it's, a very difficult job because. Of all the factors that we face all over the world there's not a single exhaustion as factory that doesn't affect an industry I guess we're always working with that but you're right my foundation, is the energy that I've derived from my people and that's what I love to do it's why I chose to come here from CSX, that's why I choose to continue that's why I chose to come back from, Dana. Almost died right I mean who comes back from the heart transplant to do this stuff well, again, it's just who I am and it's good to know that because, you'll have decisions. In your life they'll require you to make some tough decisions you. Can go read all the books and, talk, to all your wonderful professor. All the advisers all the counseling you could possibly get the, man it always comes back to you and so. It's a great it's a and it's great you're you're great you're the best at it about making decisions for yourself. But. This is still Silicon, Valley so, I do have to ask a question about the future, you. Have worked in travel and transportation, for many, years now and my. Question is what do you think will be different, about the transportation industry say. 20 years from now oh gosh. It'll. Be completely radically. Changed right I mean, from I mean. I just I hosted, Daraa. From uber and a guy named Dennis Muhlenberg who runs Boeing, he goes no darling Daraa, and Oskar we have some. First name people out there and so. Mostly. Because DARS last name is literally. Unpronounceable. But. I had them both at an event down, in San Diego we talked about the future of Transportation and, when you hear them talk about you. Know airplanes, that fly in space to, literally flying cars they both ones building the software ones, building the actual vehicle. That can do that so the Jetsons, if you're somebody, remember those cartoons. A long time ago I've, read about them I just somebody. And. So, there's just so much technology. That's going to be in our future I think, the way I approach, technology, is, twofold. One whatever's. New whatever's hot whatever is applicable to us let's, roll I mean we've got Palantir, here in the valley we came out and visited about a year and a half ago and interviewed, all sorts of different folks with all these great technology, you know Big Data artificial, until all those wonderful buzzwords they can they can do that I'm, looking for things that are relevant, it's I call it relevant innovation, or relevant technology, that's relevant to you my, customer, today, 50. Years from now ten years from now there'll, be something more I don't want to wait for you for five or ten or 50 years to be my customer I want you to be my customer, now so what is it that I can do that's, really healthy and worthwhile, for you so I have things we.
Know So much about you in a, non-creepy. Way. I know, all your flights I know whether you've been upgraded I no way I know how your flight went and so I have an app and they were that, when I sit next to you I know all that I know your last five flights and I know everybody's sitting around in before I get on an aircraft I check, every one and when I see it's red yellow green as simple as that and it, says I don't say oh there's here's a red hey you flew, from San Francisco, back to Chicago, a month, and a half ago sir. Sorry, about that you, know do, you want to tell me it's why I bring it up and. They're, like you know like whoa well you know I don't even remember the flight but no and no but you start a conversation but, the fact that's it's that personalization. That's important so, take that conversation, and make it even better so, I know all of that about you so why can't I call you if you're a traveling, road warrior the, person, why, can't I call you on a Thursday, evening when, you're leaving on a Friday and what. Are the stressors, right, traffic, parking. Security. Upgrades. All of those things right are you on time all that sort of stuff well, I have enough data to be able to proactively call. You. On. A Thursday afternoon and say, hey, ma'am, I've. Seen that over the last five flights we haven't been able to upgrade you you're, a valued, customer I want you to know that a you. Have your upgrade B, and I'm working with TSA on this I well. I'm gonna get you through security at a different line and by the way because we're partners with lift, provide lyft uber and lyft here's, a code for your Oberer so you have a car you. Have security and you have your upgrade the, night before you're, going on a flight how, better do you sleep that night now, again, for all of you to travel a lot you, recognize. That but that to me is relevant, technology and that's how you put art, you know all this big data and management, there up how you put it to use, not for this grandiose, how, do I extract, more revenue from you and I which, is important, and we'll do that concurrently, but more importantly I want you. The. Business school right. But. Again, it's it but it's a win-win right and so you it's that's, what I say I want you to feel better about flying with me that's something that you'll feel better because like hey listen you know I was kind of pissed cuz I haven't been upgraded all of a sudden they called ahead of time he knew what was going on helped me out so that's a vision that will worth working towards and. So technology is a great deal a great. Advantage in all those places you just it has to scale we.
Are Massive. Just. So big it's not even funny so we have to make sure we do we're, able to work with some and the pound tear Association, was great we've got Apple and Microsoft and, everyone else but we're always looking for someone else too and. So. It's exciting to see what's exciting, that's going on around here so. You mentioned, your platform, the, platform that you've been given as the CEO of United and I want to transition to talking about some, of the larger. Things. Out in the world that you have have played a role and having conversations about including, the fact that United as a leader in its efforts efforts, to reduce carbon emissions and recently. Committed to having its emissions by 2050, but. A recent, UN climate, report suggests that we only have until 2030, before. We start to see the catastrophic, and irreversible, effects, of warming so, you're. A leader but Ken. And should you do more well reduce and officer I'll start with a humorous approach and, back to my SNL. Michael. Che said this he goes have you heard the mean the planets dying in ten years and then he says why, don't I care. We. Don't owe and, he, goes on to say humorously, that's because you can't say everything's. Gonna die because, no one cares about everything they care about things that are on makes them you, should watch it's pretty funny. I'll, tell you my evolution, on this. Personally. And really as a company first and foremost we, burn four, billion. You. Know, gallons. Of jet fuel not. Regular, for jet fuel a year, so, carbon. Footprint dude I have a giant, you know size whatever she shoe in that regard I also. Made. A business, and a lot of money for a lot of investors, moving, fossil. Fuels coal for. Instance in the in the railroad space and at, that time it, was sort of my, bias to disregard, or disprove, the concept, of global climate change and, any, risk thereof, I've. Evolved. Not because I worked. I mean I'm still having a big carbon footprint, I just, see what. We are doing as a planet, it we. Can't you, just can't deny the fact that the Hauer whether.
It's Industrialization, whether, it's all the different things that we're doing are creating, a bigger. Risk this, planet, will burst at some point I don't know what it is so, the question is Al Gore then my conversations, with them and it's simple he says do, you believe in climate change and, can, you do something about it and will you do something about it and so, for me and I think for our company, do, we believe it's real yeah I think so. Yeah. You know I can argue the cyclical. Nature of global warming and cooling over. Many centuries and, all of that but, the difference is man-made emissions, are, becoming more prevalent and more. Impactful. So yes I believe in and we believe it as a company can, you do something about it I don't know we've burned for billions of fuel can, we really do something it's, like yes you can so, biofuels, already are at their infancy but, were the leading posted. To invest in companies that manufacture, it we just flew from from, here to Zurich a couple weeks ago on fossil. Fuel it is it isn't quite scale or economic, enough but, our 2050. Mission to your question is a way it's just it's gonna take a while and but. Will. You do something about it I we, are choosing that, that's gonna be done and what's, cool about it because California, anointed surfing. As their capitals, they're the state, sport. Album. Which I did, a lot of that so I was very happy so our president, Jenna lampkins here had a great idea why, don't we fly surfboards. Free and. As. A it's a complete different gesture guess, who picks up on that yeah there you go somebody I. Know. For the skiers will have to work on that. But. It's it has all these so it's it's got its it's a it's a long way away but, you got to start somewhere and by, me doing it in this industry hopefully. Folks a lot of heavy carbon, footprint companies to begin just ask the question do you believe can, you do something and will you do something about it yeah, immigration.
Has Also been a hot-button issue and, you have been vocal you. Have come out in support of daca you, also refuse to let. The US government, fly immigrant, children who had been separated from their families at the border on any United flight. What. Responsibilities. Do executives, of public companies have, when it comes to taking a stand on these social and political issues, I. Mentioned. The profitable, but principled, earlier. My. Opinion, and. I do it on the basis, of, the. Strength of what we've been doing in the business and creating. Shareholder value creating, customer value and. On that foundation. Of accomplishment. And success in the terms that some people want to look at it I see. A responsibility. We, see a responsibility. My employees, see a duty. By. The nature of shared purpose and uniting, the shared, purpose of connecting, people in uniting the world and, I, have. Every, freedom. From our corporation, to do what, we, think is the right thing and what's. Hard about it is that it, is not without its. Without. Its issues right I mean you take a position on, anything nowadays, and the. Social. Media world lights up with negative you. Know haters are gonna hate and boy. Do they and. So immigration, and. Things immigrant you know and things like that you, know a piece of my heritage become, identity politics, right so you're quickly discontinued. Things are taken out of context. All. The time but. You know what if we're, not building. And showing. Our, next generation, of leaders that you are in this room that. You should be certainly. Profitable, but principal, that we shouldn't think about those social, causes regardless. Of what they are whatever extreme, that, you can't voice it and I'm always very careful. To not make pronouncements, that, are my bias, there you know if it's my opinion you will know that it's my opinion, but. There's just it's, we. Teach a lot of things ethics and morals and values I'm telling, you the intersection, that you. Come to a fork in the road where you have to make a decision on something is a difficult, one and it's. Situational. You. Know I don't I don't have a problem with guns, or anything I, just whatever your choice is but. When there's a shooting and one, of your pilot's, a family, member loses, a daughter who's 14 years old I. Can't. Stand, by and say nothing I won't. Stand, by and say nothing and. Despite, you know one person came to our annual meeting and just berated, me Warren, Buffett said this how dare you as a CEO take, a personal, approach that you said it was I said you know it had nothing to do with politics it had nothing to do with guns that was purely personal, somebody. Lost a loved one I can't, stand by a long standby and I and the, team that did the family that I belong to won't let that happen either, and so I think we need more, of that thoughtful, not, so much identity, products not so much buys but you know what on the right things we have a big crisis coming with this caravan coming. I mean, you know the social economic instability, around, us is awful this this world is interconnected you. Know that because you're growing up in an environment it's so interconnected that something happened it's, gonna affect, the US and there's gonna be all hell to pay so we, will continue to work with all the right folks to see anything that we can add to that the, political, issues immigration policies, that will let politicians, manage, with that I'm just there to pick up whatever pieces I can and I have the full support of my United family and our board and I think that's important, to have but, again importantly, you, build, that level of credibility you build that goodwill by doing the things that you're all learning to do here right strategy.
Involvement, Leadership, all those sorts of things but, there's a such a big human component, to all of this and don't ever forget that know, who you are, put yourself in the right situations, because. You will face decisions. In your life like. I said before what you have to choose and how. You choose and when you choose there. Will be detractors, there's no question but so, damn the torpedoes let's just do it I. Mean I. Haven't. I mean I am fortunate, to be in that position that what, are you gonna do it's. Like you send me home to my family that I don't see very often gosh. My. Wife well you have something to say about that so I wanna I want to sneak in one more quick question before we turn it over to the audience here, we have a class coming in here soon so yeah, one. Of the questions we often reflect, on here at the GSB and, and. That I think a lot about is this question of why should people follow you. How. Do you respond, to that question. Why. Should people fall on you, I. Think. I have. All these little silly things I always, say proof and I promise. It's. Like listen I'll stand in front of you I'm gonna tell you what we're gonna do and, then you don't have to do a darn thing because. All you're gonna see is proof of what I just told you and for the the time I've been here I can. Honestly stand, in front of my entire United, family and our share owners. Increasingly. In front of our customers, as, we do more in that space and, I said is there anything ever I have told you that we, haven't delivered on and. It's. Hard to say that but, I don't say things publicly that we're not going to deliver on we're, very careful and, review everything we're gonna we're gonna say but it's important, that's how that's why people follow you because they, talk to each other you telling, someone you need to follow me because I'm the man I'm the boss or I'm the smarter I did all these things in this other company all, that's part of the equation but, every human needs a personal. Connection a personal. Desire a heart, and a mind connection that, drives someone to what, I generally, call you know discretionary. Effort this, is a business where you know I have 90 that spread, all over the world a gate agent back, in the back corner of some airport and. You know in Turkey I. Have, no control over her and what, she's doing all. I have is the communications, that we've done the, feeling. Of family the, shared purpose and mission all of those superlatives, and all those things, that people do in business because, then that person just like when raising children once, you know your are your parents have let you go mostly. And. You're, left to make your own decisions, are you making the right decisions, some yes some not and so the why you should follow me is not a question I ask it's like let me show you let me prove to you and then, people follow, in droves I mean, they really do it's a really powerful, thing when you capture the hearts and minds of folks how, you do it versus how I do it that's what you have to figure out because there's no one way of doing it and you have a lot of talented, folks, and faculty, that'll tell you all those different things but my, view is got, to know who you are and for.
God's Sake another, thing I said is swing easy. We. Try too hard sometimes I, mean. Guys, in particular you know they could do boys when you ask a question well let me tell you sir like. Relax, and I say swing easy because if you if you play golf particular. Tennis if, you see the professionals, they, make that, efforts, you know effortless, right their swing is effortless we. In our career sometimes try a little too hard especially early, on be. The person that someone pulls aside and says hey, Oscar. You. Might want to try this versus, that right. You, got to be that person that people are willing to if I have a guiding. Principle. Or. A fact of something that's been done that I've been so fortunate at is that a wrong across, my career someone's. Always pulled you aside especially. When you thought you were all that right, I've, been you know my own I was youngest, of this and the youngest of that and all that but then somebody key, point if I could one. Basa it's just a it's, a pointed, story I'm, sitting at a review I just I'm a 26 year old kid I went from this level at one. Company to this level at coca-cola and. I'm. Just, feeling everything. And I think everyone around me is kind of stupid cuz you know I'm the smartest thing in the world six months in my boss pulls mean we have this performance review and he says all these wonder hey your exceeder. Expectations, I took a risk on you, you know you've been killing, it really you're crushing it before that word was important. Then. He says then he closes kind of the book and he, pulls us out because but, if I could tell you something on a more personal basis, and, I'm like he, wants me to date his daughter or something probably. Now. He said and this is critical he said you know what you're really good. But. You're not yet. Good. As good as you think you are, and. I like excuse. Me that. Sounded kind of like negative.
And. And just you know it's like you're, not yet as good as you think you are and. I walked out of there went through all those seven, stages of anger denial all those things that people do, but. It was critical in a long life, you got to find the right person that has that desire remember sharing, is caring and that, made a huge difference because I had walked into an environment where I thought I was all about I was the youngest than everything well I recognized. The people around me were incredibly. Deeply. Knowledgeable, and, experienced, in phases where my energy. Could, be better affected and it's. Guided me many things like that so always make sure and and and don't ask people like hey, tell, me something bad about myself, right you just gotta act that way and. Find people love, people around you give, them the Liberty give. Them the Liberty to be honest with you you, will find, more often than not when, somebody tells you something negative, and, you go hey honey this jerk, at work so this about me and yours, possible, well, honey. That's. An important thing so ya, know, we'd. Like to take a few questions audience if that's okay. Hi, my name is Edward Silva I think your Oscar I'm gonna be a student here at the GSB and. My question is where. Was the United, do, the new creative. Even, crazy ideas come from and what are you doing specifically, to foster them um. They. Want, to come from this listening, thing, it's, amazing, how. There's. Really, cool, leading-edge. Innovation, and there's just basic things that we just need to do right and better, and so, most, of our people, focus. On the latter, it's like just simple things like this boarding thing I discussed, and so, getting input from that on. The innovation side we. We started what all of you around here know but it isn't often as, prevalent and big hundred-year-old. Industrial. Companies, like mine the. Concept of fast failure, right, big, companies employ. People like you to do all the analytics, and this. And all the studies and all these things and about an idea and you go months into it and then somebody determines it's a go or a no-go and, then maybe you try it or you don't. But. You've wasted so much time it's, like somebody, has kind of a cool idea as I go and so, we built a digital sort, of group. It's actually, a separate building just, for many, reasons but, you go in there and it's the objective, and network in those rooms it's just bringing, ideas put. Them to and then, bring them up and see how well they scale and it's, amazing, how many things take hold but how energetic, that is and now in our company it's cool to come up with ideas before. It was like well management doesn't like it you're, talking back so part, of it is culture but also part of providing an, environment but, more importantly acting, on that environment, so once again back to proof not promise it's like you know what so if you have an idea and it's come to you, I am, taking you everywhere, I go and showing, your mug everywhere it's like his idea this is the guy that did and this is what he does I mean we have so many wonderful histories, that we tell about our company so creating, that culture and all, of you are probably more familiar with it cuz if you live and work around here that's kind of it's it's easier. To do that in a smaller younger company. Hundred. Year old companies, just don't do that my, the tenure, of my workforce, the, level of education, all of those things, our subject but never underestimate the power of human caring, human, engagement and, human experience makes a big difference especially when it comes time to dealing with you as customers.
Hi. My name is Jorge Cueto and I'm a first year MBA my. Question is related to work, culture as well what do you think is necessary, to create a more inclusive work, environment for, Latinos. As well as for people from other underrepresented groups. Including. Women black people, LGBTQ. People and undocumented, immigrants. Veterans. Veterans. Invisible. Disabilities. Like autism. The, biggest, and best, supporter, I think of Special Olympics that we come in United because I believe, in that whole breadth yes, it's my heritage, of my naturalizer I'll, tell you diversity inclusion two words diversity. And inclusion there are two different terms diversity. Has become. We. Made progress, it's. Numeric, metric, oriented, progress, I have. The largest, percentage of female. Pilots in the world in aviation yay. Its, 8%. But. It's the best I'll relax right now. Diversity. Is just not about numbers, how. Are my women of color for. Instance but, more importantly back. To the other word inclusive. I go. See my woman pilots, and I said hey yeah did you hear your you're, the largest percentage of the industry do you think they celebrate, that no. Because. When I asked my kids what else could we do better there's, always a list of things and those, lists of things are on the inclusive. Aspect, of it right, am i involved, do you value me these microaggressions. Of stopping. People it's like do you know that women get cut off in meetings, more than anyone and, you tell it to a guys like now how does it happen watch. Can. You go back and watch like dang we. Do do the we do things like that and so part. Of the thing that we're doing and Latinos, but Tino's by the way. The. Millennial thing we all talk about guess. What the demographic. Looks like very soon of, Millennials, versus boomers right, my nose bigger next year 73. Million versus 70 two million guess what the percentage, of Millennials are that are Latino in this country almost. Half. So. I. Don't. Go tell you you got to do this you got a higher Latinos I tell you it is an economic force, that, is of massive, proportions, why Daraa from uber and Denis Muhlenberg were in the meeting with me is because they recognize, that it's a a 2 plus trillion, dollar market, Latinos, are and 56. Is in the transportation, leisure business so it's a right market, right where you're all looking for growth and for your companies and also well you go fish where the fish are and the fish have a little spicy salsa next to them. I. Can. Say that. But, it grows it comes across all cultures, and everything and so and so we I am there's, just so much to be done I'll. Tell you and I'm talking about it tonight in San Francisco with women in the workplace my. Next mission is to some degree as because, we have one of the highest percentage, of women in the workplace and we all again the numbers all work out for us in a way not, the point harassment, sexual harassment. For our flight attendants, for people is still an issue there's still, idiots, that sit next to people and think, they can touch think. They can do, and ask and say things that they should and there's still people that sit next to someone and don't want to sit next to someone because of their race color sex or creed those, people have no time no way or no business you can go fly elsewhere, because that's just not something we're gonna do hard. To do in this in this market because I have to remove them from the aircraft right and then we have that whole other issue. So. I'd, like to close, by doing, a quick lightning round if possible, so. This, or that style. Aisle. Or window. Window. Because if you sit next to me I mean aisle because if you sit next to me you just get a B I mean people reach over, customers, and employees. Will, reach, over you stand in front of you so I always have the window so I can just talk to people and not disrupt my, fellow plumb flying person, next to me and yes I do fly my own airline all the time, gotta. Eat what you cook now airline. Executives do that Coke. Or Pepsi oh no. What Coke was my last time so classic. Coke no additives, i watch, what goes into other products, and swipe the, stuff, and regular coke is at least may God. Made right its natural it's, sugar but planes, or trains I. Gotta. Go with my family planes. Adventure. Or relaxation, oh god adventure, I. Don't know what that other way I do know what that one is now, after I've done some adventure something. Kardashian's, of The Bachelor I. Labeled. That the fall of Western civilization, as we. NorCal. Or SoCal. Amis. Oh cowboy yeah no question love it up here I got engaged here I went running walking jogging Tillie, I forget how hilly it is downtown. But. The Sarah the st. Francis hotel is what I got engaged and, so, it's always brings a lot of memory the carnelian room probably most of you don't even remember, he's to be the top of the be of a tower that's when I started my way through my I thought, I was so confident, in my request.
To My wife to join me in marriage that I couldn't, get two words out four, sepals. Always be close in that regard and of course the last one Delta. Or American no I'm just kidding you don't have to, it. Has been a pleasure speaking with you Oscar, please join me.