British broadcaster ITV poaches CEO from airline easyJet


UPDATE 3-British broadcaster ITV poaches CEO from airline easyJet

* ITV appoints Carolyn McCall to replace Adam Crozier
    * Broadcaster facing pressure on ad revenues
    * EasyJet faces uncertainty over Brexit

 (Adds analysts on easyJet, McCall comments to staff)
    By Paul Sandle and Victoria BryanLONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - British broadcaster ITV <ITV.L>
has poached easyJet boss Carolyn McCall to be its next chief
executive, hoping she can continue a record of delivering
returns for shareholders in the face of intense competition.
    McCall, who was CEO at newspaper publisher Guardian Media
Group before moving to easyJet in 2010, will start at ITV on
Jan. 8, replacing Adam Crozier, who has already stepped down.
    The 55-year-old will join the maker of soap opera Coronation
Street and reality show Love Island at a time when advertising
revenues are coming under pressure as consumer spending slows
and companies shift more of their marketing efforts online.
    At easyJet, her departure comes at an awkward time as it
grapples with the uncertainty over Britain's departure from the
European Union, though the airline said on Monday it expected to
report improving revenues in third-quarter results on Thursday.
    Citi analysts described it as a "good and exciting"
appointment for ITV, noting McCall delivered a total shareholder
return of 312 percent at easyJet, outperforming the UK market.
    "We also think her experience within media (at the Guardian)
is a key positive," they added.
    Broker Goodbody said management change at easyJet <EZJ.L>
could provide an opportunity for the airline to cut costs even
more aggressively.
    At 1246 GMT, ITV shares were up 1.7 percent at 178 pence,
while easyJet's were up 0.9 percent at 1,424 pence, reversing
earlier losses.
    McCall will have an annual salary of 900,000 pounds ($1.2
million) at ITV, plus a bonus worth up to 180 percent of salary
and a long-term incentive plan worth up to 265 percent of
salary, broadly in line with Crozier's package, ITV said.
    Peter Bazalgette is leading the broadcaster as executive
chairman until McCall's arrival, along with finance and
operations chief Ian Griffiths.

    Under Crozier, ITV has increased its production operations
by acquiring independents including talent show "The Voice"
maker Talpa Media and Mammoth Screen, the company behind drama
"Poldark", which is screened by ITV's main rival BBC One.
    But it still relies on advertising for nearly half of its
revenue, and the company retains about 40 percent of the TV ad
market despite a proliferation of new digital channels.
    International cable TV group Liberty Global <LBTYA.O> holds
a near 10 percent stake in ITV, and although Liberty has said it
is happy with the size of its holding, investors speculate it
could eventually buy the broadcaster.
    At easyJet, McCall expanded its network to focus more on
primary airports to compete with traditional carriers rather
than low-cost rivals such as Ryanair <RYA.I>.
    She has overseen a trebling in the share price, an increase
in passenger numbers and the payment of about 1.2 billion pounds
in dividends to shareholders.
    However, there remains pressure on the carrier to keep costs
under control, especially given the additional expense involved
in setting up a new airline in Austria to protect post-Brexit
flying rights, announced last week. [nL8N1K51JE] [nL8N1DG1LR]
    Still, John Grant, director of JG Aviation Consultants, said
a new CEO would take over a successful business without the need
to do any major "fire-fighting".
    EasyJet said the search for McCall's successor had started.
    In a message to staff seen by Reuters, McCall highlighted
the work done by chief operating officer Chris Browne, who
joined last year from TUI Travel, and other management including
chief commercial officer Peter Duffy, chief information officer
Chris Brocklesby and chief financial officer Andrew Findlay.
    ($1 = 0.7643 pounds)

BREAKINGVIEWS-EasyJet can afford a spell on autopilot
 (Editing by Kate Holton and Mark Potter)
 ((paul.sandle@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 6843; Reuters
Messaging: paul.sandle.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


This article appears in: World Markets , Stocks , Economy
Referenced Symbols: EZJ ,

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