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Mon, 25 September 2023

United Airlines Appoints Michael Leskinen as CFO and EVP

(25/09/23)  United Airlines has promoted Michael Leskinen to the position of Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President.

Leskinen succeeds Gerry Laderman who will now serve as EVP - Finance until his planned retirement in September 2024.

In his new role, Leskinen will oversee corporate finance, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax, accounting, investor relations, procurement, internal audit, risk management and corporate strategy.

Michael Leskinen. Click to enlarge.
Michael Leskinen

He will also join the airline's Executive Team.Earlier this year, United announced that prior

"With two decades of experience on Wall Street and five years as a leading finance executive at United, Mike brings a unique understanding of the public markets combined with an in depth understanding of our airline and our industry," said United CEO Scott Kirby. "He is the best person to help us drive a culture within our finance team that's focused on moving fast, hitting our targets with no excuses, and being disciplined about capital and cost decision-making that supports our United Next plan. I know Mike will bring a strong and independent strategic perspective to the table when we're making decisions about United's future."

Prior to United, Leskinen worked at Oppenheimer Funds focused on the aerospace sector from 2009-2013, and then as an Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Asset Management where he led the firm's investment efforts in aerospace, defense and airlines from 2013-2017.

Leskinen joined United in 2018 as Managing Director of Investor Relations and was promoted to Vice President of Corporate Development and Investor Relations in 2019.

In 2020, he led the multi-divisional team that successfully raised $6.8 billion of financing secured by the airline's MileagePlus loyalty program, giving the carrier critical financial flexibility to manage through the pandemic.

In 2021, he was named as President of United Airlines Ventures (UAV), an industry-first corporate venture capital fund that identifies and invests in opportunities to decarbonize air travel and enhance the customer travel experience. UAV has invested in carbon capture and utilization technologies, advanced biologic feedstocks including micro-algae, electric fixed-wing regional aircraft and electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).

More recently, Leskinen oversaw the launch of a nearly $200 million corporate investment fund that includes investments from UAV and other corporate and financial sponsors to support start-ups focused on accelerating the research and production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Leskinen received his bachelor's degree in finance from Arizona State University and his M.B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.

He and his wife Stephanie have six children and live in a suburb of Chicago.

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