CHICAGO: United Airlines has hired Steven Restivo as VP of global corporate communications.
Based in Chicago, Restivo started in the role on September 3. He reports to chief comms officer Josh Earnest.
As VP of global comms, Restivo oversees global media relations, rapid response and employee comms.
"This was an opportunity to join an incredibly talented team that’s doing really innovative work across earned and social media, as well as employee engagement," Restivo said via email.
Most recently, Restivo was VP of corporate comms at Comcast Corporation, leading the consumer and business services team to promote its products and services, according to his LinkedIn account. He served in that role between September 2013 and August 2019.
Prior to that, Restivo was senior director of corporate comms at Walmart. There, he led external comms for the retail giant’s U.S. public affairs and government relations team. He was also a VP for the public affairs group at MWWPR.
United Airlines has undergone numerous changes following a PR scandal. In April 2017, the airline received significant blowback on social media after it violently ejected passenger David Dao from a flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky.
Two months after the Dao incident, the carrier upped Brett Hart to chief administrative officer and general counsel, retaining his title of EVP, with oversight of global communications as well as legal, corporate real estate, security, community, and government and regulatory affairs.
Around the same time, United Airlines hired ExxonMobil vet Terri Fariello as head of government affairs and EPA alum Frank Benenati as director of corporate comms.
Last year, United Airlines hired former White House press secretary Earnest as comms head. Earlier in 2018, Jim Olson resigned from his position as SVP of corporate communications at United Continental Holdings. He has since launched his own consultancy called Hangar 6, led comms for Steward Health Care, and in April 2019 started working for African Leadership University as chief communications officer and executive in residence.