The boss of easyJet has been poached to run ITV, with a potential £5million a year pay and perks package.
Carolyn McCall will swap bargain flights for Good Morning Britain as the broadcaster’s new chief executive.
McCall, who has run easyJet for seven years and was boss of Guardian Media Group before that, is set to rake in a packet if ITV does well.
On top of a £900,000 a year salary, the 55-year-old will also get a £135,000 annual pension perk, an annual bonus of up to £1.6million and up to £2.4million as part of a “long term incentive plan”.
If that weren’t enough, ITV will also give her a shares bonanza to replace those she is giving up by leaving easyJet.
But she won’t start until next January, six months after Adam Crozier stepped down as ITV chief executive.
McCall will become one of the most powerful female FTSE 100 bosses.
ITV’s stock market value – a measurement derived from a firm’s share price – is around £7billion.
The appointment was widely expected, with ITV’s share price rising on the back of the confirmation.
McCall was awarded a damehood in the New Year Honours list last year for services to the aviation industry and decorated with France’s highest merit, the Legion d’honneur.
She was presented with an OBE for services to women in business in the 2008 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
She said: “I’m really pleased to be joining ITV. It is a fantastic company in a dynamic and stimulating sector.
“I am looking forward to getting to know all of the people at ITV and helping it make the most of the amazing opportunities that it has in the future.”
Peter Bazalgette, chairman of ITV, said: “In a very impressive field of high calibre candidates, Carolyn stood out for her track record in media, experience of an international operation, clear strategic acumen and strong record of delivering value to shareholders. I’m delighted we’ll be working together at ITV.”
Tamsin Garrity, equity analyst at Jefferies, said: “We view this appointment as positive.
“McCall has understanding of the commercial side of the business, which complements a creative chairman at ITV, and has weathered some tougher times at easyJet while trebling the share price.”
Garrity added that her time at Guardian Media Group provides her with “solid media experience” in the world of advertising, which remains the majority source of ITV’s revenue.
ITV stressed that the “long term incentive plan” is subject to the broadcaster’s performance over time, with the reward paid in shares over a number of year.