EasyJet head Carolyn McCall joins ITV as chief executive officer

ITV has appointed Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of budget airline easyJet, as its new CEO, taking over from Adam Crozier who announced in May that he was stepping down.

Ms McCall held the top job at easyJet for seven years, helping to grow the group into one of the world’s biggest and most competitive low-cost carriers, servicing over 800 routes across 30 countries. Before that, she was chief executive of Guardian Media Group.

 “In a very impressive field of high calibre candidates, Carolyn stood out for her track record in media, experience of an international operation, clear strategic acumen and strong record of delivering value to shareholders,” the chairman of ITV, Peter Bazalgette, said on Monday.

“I’m delighted we’ll be working together at ITV.”

Ms McCall described ITV as “a fantastic company in a dynamic and stimulating sector”.

She will assume her new role on 8 January next year and will receive an annual salary of £900,000 as well as a pension allowance equivalent to 15 per cent of her salary.

ITV, which has been battling a slowdown in advertising as well as takeover speculations, said that she will also be able to “participate in the company’s existing annual bonus plan” under which she will be eligible for up to a maximum of 180 per cent of salary. This, the company said, is broadly in line with the compensation received by her predecessor.

Luton-based easyjet said in a statement that Ms McCall is expected to leave the company around the end of the year and that a search for her successor had already started.

Chairman John Barton said that she had “transformed easyJet’s performance in every respect” during her time at the helm.

“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.”

Ms McCall described the airline as “a structural winner in a brilliant position” and said that she looks forward “to being a loyal customer in the years to come”.

In addition to her role at easyJet, Ms McCall has been a non-executive director of high-end fashion house Burberry since 2014. She also sits on the board of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is a trustee at the Royal Academy. Since 1999, she has also held non-executive director roles at Lloyds TSB, Tesco and New Look.

Mr Crozier, who took over from Michael Grade in January 2010, left the company on 30 June. Ian Griffiths, ITV’s chief operating officer and group finance director, has been leafing the executive team on an interim basis. 

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