ITV appoints easyJet's McCall as CEO

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EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall will leave the low-priced carrier to join the board of ITV as chief executive.

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. The airline said McCall will continue with her existing responsibilities; the search for her successor is already underway.

She worked her way up in the media company after starting as a research planner and became a close ally of former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

However, since joining EasyJet in July 2010 McCall had overseen a steady rise in share price rise of more than 200pc, or 914p, to 1347p.

At ITV, McCall will also be running a company that is a perennial subject of takeover speculation. She is expected to leave the company around the end of the year, and take the helm at the blue-chip broadcaster on January 8.

ITV said the pay and bonus package for Dame Carolyn would...

ITV's revenue is falling post-Brexit (eight to nine per cent this year or thereabouts) and, on the face of it, the company has done as much as it can to smooth out advertising peaks and troughs by investing heavily - some would say too heavily - in buying independent producers. ITV had 3 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) of revenue a year ago and has a market capitalization of 7 billion pounds, while EasyJet's sales were 4.7 billion pounds and its value is 5.6 billion pounds.

In replacing Adam Crozier, she has big shoes to fill. He has also built up its ITV Studios production arm to reduce its reliance on advertising.

She will also, ITV added, receive awards to compensate for remuneration arrangements forfeited on leaving easyJet. ITV's shares have nearly tripled since Crozier became CEO.

"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".

"I am looking forward to getting to know all of the people at ITV and helping it make the most of the wonderful opportunities that it has in the future". The package provides "broadly the same remuneration opportunity" as Crozier had, ITV said.

Prior to taking over as CEO at easyJet, a position she has held for seven years, she was group chief executive of the Guardian Media Group. "McCall has understanding of the commercial side of the business".

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

The airline said last week it would establish a new airline in Austria to protect its flying rights in the European union once Britain leaves the bloc. "We think bringing in an external candidate, given the required qualifications, with fewer ties to the organization and a fresh view, may be beneficial for shareholders".

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