EasyJet jettisons chief marketing officer role

The role of chief marketing officer at easyJet is being jettisoned when post holder Lis Blair leaves the airline after eight years.

She was promoted to CMO in 2018 after the budget carrier originally said it would replace former marketing chief Peter Duffy with a chief digital officer.

Blair, who has also worked at Barclays and Audi, joined the airline in 2012 as head of CRM and insight.

A spokeswoman told Campaign magazine: “In the current climate, and following Lis’ decision to leave, we have decided not to replace the role like-for-like and to restructure the board such that marketing, customer, digital and insight will now report directly into Robert Carey, chief commercial officer.”

She added: “Under Lis’ leadership brand consideration, value perceptions and affinity have all reached their highest levels across Europe.”

The airline received confirmation on Thursday that it is eligible to access funding under the government’s covid corporate financing facility, set up to support larger companies which are fundamentally strong, but have been affected by a short-term funding squeeze.

EasyJet last week moved to ground its entire fleet for two months and furlough 4,000 of its 9,000 UK staff, after travel restrictions in most European countries caused demand to collapse due to the coronavirus crisis.

Meanwhile, chief executive Johan Lundgren wrote to passengers to confirm that no easyJet flights would be operating anywhere on thee network in April other than for repatriations. The airline has flown more than 45,000 people home in the past few weeks.

He added: “If your flight is cancelled as a result of this, I am sorry. Our customer service team will be in touch to let you know how to switch to a new flight, get a voucher or be reimbursed.

“We are currently dealing with an unprecedented number of calls and are working hard to try and process these as quickly as we can – however, with a number of our service centres directly affected by government restrictions, it may take longer than usual and so we thank you for your patience.

“I know that this has been a difficult and frustrating time for many of you who have had travel plans disrupted, who may have waited on calls, or who faced difficulties booking onto rescue flights, so I am sorry if this has been the case.

“Rest assured, my team and I are working around the clock trying to ease the disruption as much as we can. I am extremely proud of the way that everyone here, from call centre staff to the crew onboard, has given their all at such a challenging time.

“We’re missing travel as much as anyone and will continue to evaluate when we can start flying again.

“As soon as we can do so safely, we’ll be back in the skies again.”

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