Belfast Telegraph

EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall named ITV's first female chief executive

EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall is to join ITV as the broadcaster's first ever female chief executive.

Ms McCall, who begins her new role in January 2018, had been the front runner to secure the vacant top job after Adam Crozier stepped down at the end of June.

She has headed up the low-cost airline since 2010, prior to which she was chief executive of Guardian Media Group (GMG).

She said: "I'm really pleased to be joining ITV. It is a fantastic company in a dynamic and stimulating sector.

"I am looking forward to getting to know all of the people at ITV and helping it make the most of the amazing opportunities that it has in the future."

Ms McCall will receive an annual salary of £900,000 and a pension allowance of 15% of salary.

She will also be eligible for a bonus plan that could see her net a maximum of 180% of her salary, as well 265% of her salary as part of a long term share plan.

ITV described it as "broadly the same remuneration opportunity" as Mr Crozier's.

Ms McCall will also receive awards to compensate for remuneration arrangements forfeited on leaving EasyJet.

She comes with a strong corporate pedigree.

In addition to her time at EasyJet and GMG, s he has been a non-executive director of Burberry since 2014 and sits on the board of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Ms McCall has been widely praised for her tenure at EasyJet and for raising the profile of women in business.

Tamsin Garrity, equity analyst at Jefferies, said: "We view this appointment as positive.

"McCall has understanding of the commercial side of the business, which complements a creative chairman at ITV, and has weathered some tougher times at EasyJet while trebling the share price."

But she leaves the low-cost carrier at a difficult time for the sector in Britain, with Brexit storm clouds gathering over the travel industry.

The pound's collapse has meant less people travelling overseas and, m ore starkly, British airlines are at risk of being grounded unless Tory ministers strike an aviation deal with the EU before March 2019.

To mitigate the impact, EasyJet last week confirmed that it has applied for a new air operator's certificate (AOC) in Austria to allow it to continue flying in the European Union after Britain's divorce from the block.

Ms Garrity added that Ms McCall's time at Guardian Media Group provides her with "solid media experience" in the world of advertising, which remains the majority source of ITV's revenue.

Under her watch, the Guardian shifted from broadsheet to Berliner format and the group offloaded its regional newspaper titles.

Peter Bazalgette, chairman of ITV, said: "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. I'm delighted we'll be working together at ITV."

Shares in ITV rose more than 3% in morning trading, while EasyJet dipped 0.2%.

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