Easyjet boss Carolyn McCall to be new ITV chief executive

Easyjet boss Carolyn McCall to be new ITV chief executive

Easyjet boss Carolyn McCall to be new ITV chief executive

EasyJet has announced that its Chief Executive, Carolyn McCall, is to leave the airline to take up the same role at United Kingdom television network ITV.

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

McCall said it was a hard decision to leave easyJet, but after seven years the opportunity from ITV felt like the right one to take. "After seven years, the opportunity from ITV felt like the right one to take". The airline said McCall will continue with her existing responsibilities; the search for her successor is already underway.

"In a very impressive field of high calibre candidates, Carolyn stood out for her track record in media, experience of an global operation, clear strategic acumen and strong record of delivering value to shareholders", he said.

"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's chairman, John Barton, said she had "transformed" the business during her tenure: "She put easyJet's passengers and people at the heart of the business". Billionaire John Malone's Liberty Global Plc owns about 9.9 percent and has been tipped as one of several potential bidders, speculation that has intensified following Britain's vote a year ago to leave the European Union.

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Easyjet shares fell by three-quarters of a per cent in early trading, while ITV shares rose by nearly 1.5 per cent.

As CEO, McCall will receive an annual salary of £900,000 (US$1.2m) and a pension allowance of 15% of her salary.

"This has led to sustained and continuing financial success which has been shared with shareholders with a more than trebling of Easyjet's share price and the payment of £1.2 billion in dividends".

McCall will join ITV, the maker of soap opera Coronation Street and reality show Love Island, at a time when advertising is coming under pressure from intense competition from internet services and weaker consumer markets.

Bloomberg quoted Daniel Roeska and Caius Slater, analysts for Sanford C. Bernstein, as saying in a note yesterday that easyJet's next CEO must "increase focus on cost management and possible restructuring".

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