February 2, 2021

Scott Kirby

Chief Operating Officer / United Airlines

Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines, addressed The Economic Club of Chicago on February 2 to discuss the road ahead for United and more. The conversation was moderated by Ted Souder, head of Industry – Retail at Google, Inc., and The Economic Club of Chicago First Vice Chair, Programs. The Economic Club of Chicago President & CEO David Snyder opened the program and posed questions from the audience.

Our guiding north star as we’ve gone through this has been just do the right thing in a world where there’s so much uncertainty.

quote icon 71961ea2

Scott Kirby on leading United Airlines through the COVID-19 pandemic.


Scott Kirby

Chief Operating Officer / United Airlines

Mr. Kirby is chief executive officer of United Airlines. He served as the company’s president from 2016 to 2020 and was responsible for United’s operations, marketing, sales, alliances, network planning and revenue management. As president, he played a pivotal role in enabling United’s cultural transformation and executing the Company’s strategic growth plan. Elected in December 2020, Scott serves as the Chairman of the Star Alliance Chief Executive Board (CEB).


Ted Souder

Head of Industry, Retail / Google

As Chief Operating Officer and group president for Starbucks, Roz Brewer leads the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), and Starbucks license stores as well as the global functions of marketing, technology, supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations. Roz was appointed to the Starbucks board of directors in March 2017 and continues to serve on the board. Prior to joining Starbucks, Roz served as president and chief executive officer of Sam’s Club, the eighth largest U.S. retailer with sales of $57 billion for fiscal year 2016. Roz joined Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart Inc. in 2012 and made history by becoming the first woman and first African American to lead a Walmart division. In 2018, Fortune ranked her #33 on its list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. During her time at the helm, she led the growth of Sam’s Club by focusing on three core growth areas: expanding membership; transforming merchandise; and amplifying the use of digital technology to enable a seamless shopping experience at scale which led to sequentially improved comp sales.