EasyJet chief Carolyn McCall has rejected a claim that she is leaving to join broadcaster ITV at the end of the year because she has exhausted her earnings potential at the airline.
McCall told Travel Weekly: “I didn’t move to easyJet [and] nor am I leaving the airline because of remuneration.”
VSA Capital chief executive Andrew Monk suggested in an opinion piece for Travel Weekly that McCall “had been looking to leave easyJet for some time” and “the reasons were all in easyJet’s Annual Report and Accounts for last year”.
McCall said: “Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I don’t usually respond to media articles about me. But when they inaccurately talk about my motivation for the decisions I make with my career I felt had to respond.
“I’ve made each decision based on my interest and excitement at the prospect of a role with a business I admired and one that I would like to help manage the challenges and opportunities that it faces.”
“In both cases, I inherited the same remuneration as my predecessor – never more so, [and with] no negotiation.”
McCall added: “The facts are that I will leave easyJet in better shape than when I arrived.
“The operational performance has improved significantly; the loyalty of our customers has increased by 38% and our shareholders have enjoyed a threefold increase in the share price with the introduction of dividends which have now totalled £1.2 billion.
“There aren’t many airlines that can match that over the same period.”
The easyJet chief also took issue with Monk’s suggestion that “the Industry as a whole has had it too good for too long”.
Monk argued: “The airline industry has improved dramatically over recent years and it has some exceptional managers. But they can’t go forward when the wind turns.
“That is what I believe McCall could see and why she has announced she is leaving.”
McCall said: “I found out pretty early on at easyJet that it’s difficult to predict anything with any certainty in our industry, so I won’t forecast either an upturn or a downturn as Mr Monk does.
“What I can say is that I will leave easyJet in very good shape to manage whatever the future brings.”
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