Larry Kellner, the head of Continental Airlines and a prominent guy in Houston political, social and charitable circles, is gone.
The airline announced that he "has decided to return to private equity at year-end after 14 years with Continental, the last five of them as chairman and CEO."
Taking his place will be Jeff Smisek, the airline's president and COO.
"It has been a great honor to lead the professional men and women of Continental and be part of the premier airline in the industry," Kellner said. "I have worked closely with Jeff throughout my tenure, and he is a strong and effective leader. I am confident Jeff will maintain Continental's unique culture and successfully lead the Continental team through these challenging times.
"While I will deeply miss my co-workers at Continental, it is the right time for this transition. Continental has gained approval from DOT of our Star Alliance application, which will allow us to continue as an effective global competitor."
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Hopefully Smisek knows something about not sending unaccompanied children to the wrong destination.