Smisek welcomes change in pursuit of profit at Continental

03/29/2010 | Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model)

Jeff Smisek, Continental Airlines' new CEO, has made some tough policy changes with his efforts to make the airline profitable -- moves that include charging for exit-row seats and for meal service in coach class. "I've made a lot of changes since I became CEO, and you'll see many, many more changes," promises Smisek, who is known for refusing to mince his words. But analysts say the changes are necessary in a struggling industry, and Smisek has made one big change to show employees how important it is to adapt in order to survive: He vowed to forgo his $730,000 salary, plus bonuses, until Continental earns a full-year profit.

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