McCall’s Take-Off Confirmed: ‘Our Financial Position Is Secure’

Guardian Media Group and easyJet both confirmed GMG CEO Carolyn McCall’s departure for the budget airline Wednesday morning (see full earlier story). asked what makes her qualified to jump from media to aviation: “I’ve come from a background where there’s been enormous change – structural change, cyclical effects are dramatic – the skills that I have from that are very transferable.

“It’s a people business, very customer-focused, and yet we’ve had to take a lot of cost out … I have strategic experience dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity … I’m hoping to start in the summer, but that’s yet to be decided. The ( website is good – it could be better.”

Neither side gave a leaving date. easyJet fancies McCall’s “proven track record of successful operational delivery in a fast changing on-line consumer facing business combined with extensive plc Board and government and lobbying experience”.

McCall says: “I will leave GMG knowing that our journalism has never been more influential or widely read, and with complete confidence that its financial position is secure.”

Full details below…

GMG announcement:-

Carolyn McCall to step down as chief executive of Guardian Media Group

Guardian Media Group plc (“GMG”) today announces that chief executive Carolyn McCall is to leave the business.

Carolyn will step down after four years in the role, and 24 years with the group, to become chief executive of easyJet.

She will leave GMG later in the year and an announcement regarding succession plans will be made in due course.

Carolyn joined the Guardian in 1986 as a planner in the marketing department. At Guardian News & Media (“GNM”) she held the positions of advertising director, commercial director, managing director and chief executive before being promoted to chief executive of parent organisation GMG in 2006.

During her tenure at GNM and GMG she oversaw the launch of Guardian Unlimited (now, as, one of the world’s leading news websites), the move to the innovative Berliner format for the Guardian and Observer, the relocation to new premises at Kings Place in North London, and the successful diversification of GMG’s portfolio. This included the partial sale of Auto Trader publisher Trader Media Group for approximately £700 million, the investment in leading B2B media group Emap, and the establishment of an investment portfolio worth more than £200 million.

In 2008 Carolyn was awarded the OBE for services to women in business, and was named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year.

Carolyn McCall said: “The Guardian has been my second family for a quarter of a century, and I feel incredibly privileged to be part of such a wonderful and unique organisation. However, the chance to lead a FTSE company of easyJet