United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) has appointed James T. Olson as senior vice president of Corporate Communications, bringing to the airline 25 years of public relations and employee engagement experience, the company said.
Olson will join United on Feb. 1, reporting to Michael Bonds, executive vice president of Human Resources and Labor Relations.
Olson currently serves as vice president Global Corporate Communications at Starbucks Coffee company, Fortune´s 5th Most Admired company, where he has led the company´s reputation-elevating corporate news agenda and brand protection capability since 2011. Additionally, he architected Starbucks´ next-generation digital news and employee storytelling platform, as well as orchestrated public affairs for the company´s Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions.
Prior to Starbucks, Olson was vice president Corporate Communications at US Airways, where he led the airline´s internal, external and crisis communications functions, which included managing the response to the 2009 Hudson River emergency water landing of Flight 1549. He spent most of the first decade of his career in the automotive industry, including seven years as a strategic communications and digital media consultant to Nissan North America.
Olson earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Syracuse University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. The common stock of United´s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.