Easyjet CEO to leave for ITV

Andrew Cummings
July 17, 2017

U.K. TV giant ITV has named easyJet CEO and former CEO of The Guardian Media Group Carolyn McCall its new CEO, effective January 8, 2018.

ITV has hired EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall as its new CEO, marking the first time a woman has ever held the role at the United Kingdom commercial broadcaster. Her experience atop Guardian Media, which owns The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, makes her well suited to tackling the challenges, said Alex DeGroote, an analyst at Cenkos Securities.

"I speak for absolutely everyone at Easyjet in saying we will be sorry to see Carolyn leave and that we wish her well in her exciting new role".

Since the announcement this morning ITV shares have risen whilst EasyJet's have taken a dip. It added that "she will also be able to participate in the Company's existing annual bonus play up to a maximum of 180% of salary, and the long-term incentive plan up to 265% of salary". This provides broadly the same remuneration opportunity as to ITV's previous CEO.

During her tenure at the airline, she brought a customer focussed approach to the business and redefined what passengers now expect from short haul flights. easyJet's innovative approach has driven both passenger loyalty and growth and delivered sustained success for easyJet's shareholders.

"She's got a good grip on the key issues facing traditional media", DeGroote said by phone.

McCall, who was appointed a dame for her services to the aviation industry past year, added: "This was a really hard decision for me to make".

The mother-of-three - one of just seven female FTSE 100 bosses - was with easyJet for seven years after previously running the Guardian Media Group. Ad sales made up 47 percent of ITV's overall revenue in 2016, compared to 64 percent in 2010, the year Crozier joined.

ITV will pay McCall an annual salary of £900,000 and a pension allowance of 15 percent of her pay. Easyjet announced yesterday it will establish a new airline in Vienna, Easyjet Europe, to ensure it can continue to operate after Brexit.

"She put Easyjet's passengers and people at the heart of the business".

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