Dame Carolyn McCall named new ITV chief executive

18 July 2017 -

ITVThe CMI Companion and former Gold Medal Winner leaves easyJet to succeed Adam Crozier

Dame Carolyn McCall has been appointed as the new chief executive at the media company ITV, succeeding Adam Crozier who stepped down in June. 

McCall, a CMI Companion and former Gold Medal winner, will move on from easyJet, where she has served as chief executive for the past seven years. 

In the Financial Times, her rival airline boss Michael O’Leary, the head of rival Ryanair, said the airline industry would have been poorer without her. “I clearly underestimated her and I was proved wrong,” said O’Leary, who had described McCall as “a media luvvie” when she was first appointed from Guardian Media Group. “She forced us to up our game on customer service,” said O'Leary. "EasyJet and the industry are better as a result of her tenure.” 

As the FT reported, her time at the budget airline "brought passenger numbers to record highs, while its planes have never been as full." In McCall's tenure, some £1.2bn has been paid out in dividends. 

At easyJet, McCall has been known for her accessible and hands-on leadership style. As she revealed in a Professional Manager interview in 2017, she has no office to call her own and spends the majority of her time travelling between easyJet offices and destinations. 

“It’s how I keep in touch – on planes, across airports and in crew rooms,” she told Professional Manager. McCall also explained that she has “lots of one-to-one meetings” with the top 50 members of easyJet’s leadership team, as well as meeting with them regularly as a group. 

Among other notable achievements under McCall’s leadership was easyJet’s Amy Johnson Flying initiative to recruit more female pilots, which pledged that 20% of new-entrant cadet pilots recruited in 2020 will be women. 

Writing in the spring 2017 edition of Professional Manager, CMI chief executive Ann Francke said that Dame Carolyn “has transformed easyJet’s reputation with both City and customer.”

Announcing McCall's appointment on ITV’s website, ITV chairman Peter Bazalgette said: "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”.

Powered by Professional Manager