Company: easyJet, Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom
Company Description: easyJet is Europe's leading airline, operating on over 600 routes across more than 30 countries with our fleet of over 200 Airbus aircraft. We employ over 8,000 people including 2,000 pilots and 4,500+ cabin crew. Last year we flew over 60 million passengers.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year in Europe, the Middle East & Africa
Nomination Title: Carolyn McCall, CEO
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
EasyJet, the budget, orange airline founded in 1995 with two borrowed planes has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years under the leadership of CEO Carolyn McCall. Now valued at more than £4 billion, with shares hitting new highs, easyJet was accepted into the FTSE-100 this year.
EasyJet’s annual dividend and profits have doubled since McCall took the helm in 2010. Amazing results for an executive with little to no airline industry experience. She was recruited by a headhunter for the position.
After taking the job in 2010, McCall quickly organized a licensing deal with the founder Sir Stelios, and brought in more pilots to improve punctuality. In the last year McCall won shareholder approval to buy 135 new Airbus planes despite opposition from the founder. He had argued that the money would have been better spent on improved dividends or share buybacks. Now Stelios has taken a step back and McCall is fully in charge.
We’re just doing what we always do at EasyJet — focusing on passengers,” McCall told The Standard. “There wasn’t any target to enter the FTSE. But very few companies are confidently growing in Europe, and we are, in a very cautious, stealthy way. It’s leading to good returns for shareholders.”
To achieve the success, McCall placed a new emphasis on customer services, a new brand image and courting business travelers by:
• introducing more flights between top business destinations, especially as larger airlines were cutting back routes. EasyJet is also beating its much larger legacy carriers, wining new routes to Moscow, Italy and other business locations throughout Europe.
• providing flexible tickets allowing passengers to change their flight up to two hours before departure
• switching to allocated seating to remove the hassle of unassigned seating.
• working with corporate agents to get on to corporate-approved airline lists like Citibank’s
• changing the budget image by promoting the brand with new advertising differentiating itself from low cost RyanAir and other budget rivals
• McCall spend many days each year traveling throughout the EasyJet network, visiting governments, crews, airports, spending the time to be seen and letting everyone know they are important to EasyJet’s success.
• As a working mother, McCall believes in a flexible working environment, providing job share, flexible hours and work from home opportunities.
• EasyJet is embracing technology with the launch of a successful travel app and mobile boarding passes
Morale has improved, passenger satisfaction has improved, and the resulting numbers don’t lie.
Today, EasyJet operates Europe's No. 1 air transport network with a leading presence on Europe's top 100 routes, at Europe's 50 largest airports.
EasyJet flies over 200 aircraft on more than 600 routes between 130+ airports in 30 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live close to an EasyJet airport, more than any other airline.
EasyJet operates efficiently and fills most of its seats, which means EasyJet’s carbon footprint is 22% less than a traditional airline, flying the same aircraft on the same route.
In just a few years, Carolyn McCall has created a valuable, efficient and popular airline for all types of travelers and the outlook for the future is for continued growth and leadership.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
CEO Carolyn McCall joined EasyJet on 1 July 2010 as Chief Executive. Prior to this, she was Chief Executive of Guardian Media Group.
Carolyn was a Non Executive Director of Lloyds TSB from 2008 to 2009, Non Executive Director of Tesco Plc from 2005 to 2008 and Non Executive Director of New Look from 1999 to 2005. She was Chair of Opportunity Now and a former President of Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL).
Carolyn graduated from Kent University with a BA in History and Politics and from London University with a Masters in Politics.