ITV has hired EasyJet chief executive Carolyn McCall as its new CEO, marking the first time a woman has ever held the role at the UK commercial broadcaster. She’ll replace Adam Crozier, who left the company at the end of June.
McCall has been chief exec at budget airline EasyJet for the last seven years. Prior to that, she was also chief exec of the Guardian Media Group. She’ll join ITV on January 8, 2018.
“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,” said ITV chairman Peter Bazalgette. “I’m delighted we’ll be working together at ITV.”
McCall 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.
During her tenure at EasyJet, McCall brought a customer-focussed approach to the business and redefined what passengers now expect from short haul flights. The company, like ITV, is a FTSE 100 company.
She has also been a non-executive director of UK fashion house Burberry since 2014 and sits on the Board of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and is a Trustee at the Royal Academy. McCall has also held non-executive director roles with Lloyds TSB (2008-09), Tesco (2005-08) and New Look (1999-2005).
McCall was said to have been chosen as the preferred candidate for the ITV top job at the end of last month, but reports have said that disagreements about her salary package had slowed things down. On Monday, ITV said that McCall “will receive an annual salary of £900,000 [$1.2 million] and a pension allowance of 15% of salary.” It added that “she will also be able to participate in the Company’s existing annual bonus play up to a maximum of 180% of salary, and the long-term incentive plan up to 265% of salary.” This, the company said, provides broadly the same remuneration opportunity as to ITV’s previous CEO.
McCall’s appointment comes shortly after Channel 4 hired ex-Shine CEO Alex Mahon as its new chief exec, seeing the UK’s two major commercial broadcasters now headed up by women.