Easyjet CEO to leave for ITV

Marco Green
July 17, 2017

McCall, 55, will take up her new role at the Coronation Street broadcaster on 8 January next year, replacing Adam Crozier.

McCall has been chief exec at budget airline EasyJet for the last seven years.

Analysts at Citi said it was a "good and exciting" appointment, saying her track record was very strong, delivering a total shareholder return of 312 per cent during her tenure at the airline, outperforming the United Kingdom market.

"For ITV, we think the move suggests the company is comfortable with its strategic direction but her strong personal links should be helpful in several areas".

Easyjet chairman John Barton said McCall had "transformed easyJet's performance in every respect since 2010".

She will receive an annual salary of £900,000 - but is eligible for an annual bonus to a maximum of 180 per cent of salary, a long-term incentive plan up to 265 per cent of salary and a generous 15 per cent pension allowance. She then joined The Guardian as a research planner in 1986 and rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2006.

McCall was under stood to have beaten off competition for the ITV job from Paul Geddes, the boss of insurer Direct Line Group, and Seb James, chief executive of the retailer Dixons Carphone. "easyJet's innovative approach has driven both passenger loyalty and growth and delivered sustained success for easyJet's shareholders".

Crozier oversaw the company for more than seven years and led its transformation from an advertising-dependent networks company into a broader business with a big production arm, which he expanded via acquisitions, and digital assets.

In addition to her role at easyJet, Ms McCall has been a non-executive director of high-end fashion house Burberry since 2014.

The airline said it had begun the search for her successor, who will take over at a crucial time for the industry ahead of Brexit.

Arresting a recent decline in ad sales, improving the quality of ITV's online video offering and warding off the challenge from worldwide streaming services like Netflix will be McCall's top priorities, and a "monumental" task, said Neil Campling, an analyst at Northern Trust Capital Markets in London.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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