United Airlines’ general counsel Brett Hart has been named as the company’s acting CEO, while current head Oscar Munoz goes on medical leave. 

Chicago-based Hart will take on Munoz’s role as CEO and president while he recovers from a heart attack suffered last week. The appointment, which was made by the executive board of the aircraft operator, is effective immediately. 

Hart joined United Airlines in 2010, taking on the role of executive vice president and GC at the Nasdaq-listed company. 

He was previously executive vice president, GC and corporate secretary at consumer goods company Sara Lee Corporation, having been a partner at Chicago’s Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal.

Hart is not the first GC to take on a CEO role. Misys’ GC Tom Kilroy took on the role following the resignation of its present chief, while consultancy giant Accenture promoted GC Julia Spellman Sweet to CEO for North America. 

Swedish music rights organisation Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå also promoted its general counsel to acting CEO following the resignation of Kenth Muldin last year.