By Alana Wise
NEW YORK, March 8 (Reuters) - United Continental Holdings Inc on Thursday said Michele Hooper had been elected to its board of directors, as the group aims to beef up its financial expertise and add diversity to its ranks.
Hooper, whose 25 years of corporate board experience includes more than 20 years on the audit committees of several public companies, joins as the 16th board member of United Continental, the parent company of United Airlines.
Hooper "is a highly regarded business leader with expertise in areas that are important to our success, including operations strategy and finance," United Chief Executive Oscar Munoz said in a statement.
Hooper's addition to the boardroom comes as the carrier seeks to improve its lagging operational and financial performance as compared to more profitable rivals.
Hooper is chief executive of The Directors' Council consultation group, which specializes in corporate governance issues.
Her role on the board took effect on March 5. (Reporting by Alana Wise Editing by James Dalgleish)