easyJet share price gains altitude as airline appoints new CEO

Former TUI exec to replace Carolyn McColl at the helm of low-cost carrier

easyJet share price gains altitude as airline appoints new CEO

Shares in easyJet (LON:EZJ) have climbed into positive territory this afternoon, outperforming the broader market, as the British low-cost carrier announced that it had appointed a new CEO. Johan Lundgren, a former executive at TUI Group (LON:TUI), will replace Carolyn McCall who in turn is due to take the top job at British broadcaster ITV (LON:ITV).

As of 13:16 GMT, easyJet’s share price had added 0.65 percent to 1,278.23p, outperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having fallen into the red and currently standing 0.45 percent lower at 7,450.07 points. The group’s shares have added more than 22 percent to their value over the past year, and are up by some 26 percent in the year-to-date.

New CEO at easyJet

easyJet announced in a statement today that it had appointed Johan Lundgren as its new chief executive. He will be joining the board as a director and CEO on December 1, with Carolyn McCall due to step down on November 30. She, however, will remain with the airline until December 31 to assist with the transition.

Lundgren’s former roles include Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer of TUI Group, and Chief Executive Officer, Mainstream Markets.

“Johan has proven experience in European travel as CEO and in broader group roles.  He is strategic yet operationally focussed and has proved himself to be a customer-centric, charismatic and successful leader,” easyJet’s chairman John Barton commented in the statement.

Lundgren’s appointment comes at a sensitive time for easyJet which recently inked a deal with insolvent Air Berlin to acquire part of its operations. The low-cost carrier is also interested in buying some assets of Italy’s Alitalia airline.

Analysts on easyJet

Beaufort Securities reiterated its ‘buy’ rating on easyJet this week, without specifying a price target on the stock, while Liberum continues to see the blue-chip carrier as a ‘sell,’ valuing the shares at 1,100p. According to MarketBeat, easyJet currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,257.95p. 

As of 13:44 GMT, Friday, 10 November, easyJet plc share price is 1,276.00p.

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