UK budget carrier EasyJet has named media group head Carolyn McCall (below, picture from AOP) as its new chief executive, succeeding Andrew Harrison who is leaving in June to become the chief of hotel and restaurant operator Whitbread.
McCall has led UK newspaper publisher Guardian Media Group since 2006. She is expected to join the carrier in the summer, although no firm date has yet to be set for her start. She will form part of a new management team at the carrier, also including new CFO Chris Kennedy – who will join from EMI in the summer – and chief commercial officer Dana Dunne who joined the carrier last September from AOL Europe
Check out this article here from the Guardian for a bit more about McCall and in a video interview with UK financial news service Cantos this morning, she says the skills from her existing position are transferable to her new role at easyJet. “I’ve come from a background where there’s been enormous change, enormous pace, it’s 24/7,” she says. “The structural change and cyclical effects have been dramatic. And I think that that, and the skills that I have from that, are very transferable. The media is about people – it’s a people business. It is very customer focused, and yet we’ve had to take a lot of costs out in response to structural and cyclical change. So I think the skills and capabilities that I’ve gained over the last 20 years are immediately transferable to easyJet.”
And as for the opportunities ahead for easyJet, she says: “The opportunities are massive. I think there is, as I said, opportunity in Europe. I think there is opportunity to take share from other airlines. The consumer proposition is so strong that we can do even more with the brand and promoting that proposition, and just putting the customer right in the centre. The website is good – but could be better – and I think there is a lot of opportunity with what we could do with that.”
And here is a nice up to date photo easyJet have just issued of its new chief executive.