Jeffery Alan "Jeff" Smisek (born 1954) is an American businessman who was the chairman, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of United Airlines in the period prior to September 2015.
Smisek was born in 1954, and graduated from Princeton University, AB summa cum laude in Economics, in 1976. After enrolling in a PhD program in Economics at MIT, Smisek dropped out and worked in banking until he matriculated at Harvard Law School and obtained a JD magna cum laude, in 1982.
Prior to his role at United, Smisek was chairman, president and CEO of Continental Airlines, which merged with United in 2010. Previously a partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins, Smisek joined Continental in 1995 as senior vice and general counsel. In 2004, he became president and was elected to the company's board of directors. He became chief operating officer in September 2008. In 2014 Smisek was elected Chairman of the Board of Airlines for America. Smisek serves on the board of directors of National Oilwell Varco, Inc. and the board of trustees of Rice University. In addition, he serves on the board of governors of the International Air Transport Association...
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