EasyJet CEO Dame Carolyn McCall appointed as new ITV chief executive

Jay Anderson
July 17, 2017

Dame Carolyn McCall has been announced as the new chief executive of ITV, following seven years at the helm of easyJet.

ITV, also listed on London's blue-chip index, has been searching for a successor to Adam Crozier, who left at the end of June.

McCall, who was appointed a dame for her services to the aviation industry past year, added: "This was a really hard decision for me to make". "After seven years, the opportunity from ITV felt like the right one to take". Her experience atop Guardian Media, which owns The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, makes her well suited to tackling the challenges, said Alex DeGroote, an analyst at Cenkos Securities.

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.

He added: "I'm delighted we'll be working together at ITV".

Such links with the ad industry will be vital at the commercial broadcaster, where McCall will walk into a testing advertising environment if she is confirmed in the role.

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Before easyJet, McCall was the group chief executive of the Guardian Media Group.

As CEO, McCall will receive an annual salary of £900,000 (US$1.2m) and a pension allowance of 15% of her salary. She may also have to deal with a bid from a tech company or other broadcaster interested in ITV's bulging library of programme assets.

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

Carolyn has been a non-executive director of Burberry since 2014.

She sits on the board of the department of business, energy and industrial strategy and is a trustee at the Royal Academy. Since 1999, she has also held non-executive director roles at Lloyds TSB, Tesco and New Look.

Arresting a recent decline in ad sales, improving the quality of ITV's online video offering and warding off the challenge from global 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.

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