Dame Carolyn McCall
Carolyn McCall joined ITV in January 2018 and launched a review of the company’s strategy in light of the rapidly changing media landscape.
She unveiled the refreshed strategy to the City at ITV’s interim results in July, outlining a plan that will deliver growth and ensure that the business is well positioned for the future.
Carolyn outlined a new vision – ‘More than TV’ – designed to build upon ITV’s unique and winning combination of creativity and commercial strength and to enable ITV to drive profit from three separate sources – advertisers, broadcasters/platforms and consumers.
Delivering the strategy ITV will ensure that ITV is a structurally sound integrated producer broadcaster where the ambition is to maintain total viewing and increase total advertising revenue; it will continue to be a growing and profitable content business, which drives returns; and it will create value by developing and nurturing strong direct consumer relationships, through programmes and experiences.
To help deliver the strategy Carolyn announced new investment in the ITV brand, in data, digital and subscription capabilities and committed to further develop ITV’s creative and commercial strengths.
The results for the period January to June showed that ITV had enjoyed an 8% increase in revenue driven in part by strong growth in viewing , particularly among 16 to 34 year olds and a 48% increase in online advertising revenue. Revenue from producing content for other platforms (including the BBC and Netflix) had also increased.
Prior to joining ITV, McCall was CEO of leading European short haul airline easyJet for nearly 8 years.
In the full-year to September 30 2017, her last set of results before joining ITV, easyJet announced record passenger numbers of over 80 million, record load factor and an increase in revenues of 8% to over £5bn.
In her time at easyJet she was widely recognised not just for transforming the airline’s financial performance but changing the public’s expectations for value and service in short haul flying across Europe.
She also drove an industry leading initiative to train more female pilots. Globally women account for less than 5% of commercial pilots. Carolyn launched the Amy Johnson Flying Initiative to attract more women into a career as a pilot and in one of her last announcements at easyJet was able to announce that 13% of that year’s new entrants were female – well on the way to reaching easyJet’s target of 20% of new entrant pilots to be female by 2020.
Carolyn joined The Guardian in 1986, and, with a strong background in marketing and sales, rose through the commercial ranks at the newspaper.
She launched Wired magazine in the UK, as a joint venture with Wired US in 1994. When the Guardian bought the Observer in the same year, she spearheaded the integration of the commercial team.
She then took the Guardian online with the roll out of The Guardian’s website in 1999 and was responsible for the web team in addition to being Commercial director.
She was appointed CEO of Guardian News and Media in 2001. The Berliner was launched in 2004.
Carolyn was appointed Chief Executive of the Guardian Media Group in 2006 , responsible for GNM, the Regional newspaper Group, Autotrader , and The Radio Division.
In 2008, Carolyn was awarded an OBE for services to women in business. In 2016, she was decorated with France’s highest award, the Légion d’honneur in recognition of her contribution to the economies of France and the UK and for her support of women, particularly female pilots.
In the New Year’s Honours List of 2016 Carolyn was awarded a Damehood for services to the aviation industry.