easyJet’s (LON:EZJ) new chief executive Johan Lundgren has asked for a pay cut to match the salary of his predecessor Carolyn McCall, the low-cost carrier has said. The move came as the company revealed a huge gender pay gap which it has attributed to having mostly male pilots.
easyJet’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having dipped 0.27 percent to 1,684.50p as of 13:18 GMT, underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having climbed into positive territory and currently standing 0.18 percent higher at 7,679.04 points. The group’s shares added nearly 73 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with about a seven-percent rise in the Footsie.
CEO asks for pay cut
easyJet announced in a statement today that its new chief executive Johan Lundgren was to voluntarily reduce his salary to match that of his predecessor, Carolyn McCall, who recently left the low-cost carrier to take the helm at blue-chip broadcaster ITV (LON:ITV). Lundgren’s starting annual salary was £740,000, which he will now reduce to match the £706,000 earned by McCall when she left the budget airline. The company noted that in all other respects, his remuneration package was identical to hers.
easyJet further revealed that the overall gender pay gap figure at the company was 51.7 percent, noting that it was not driven by unequal pay for women, “but by the massive gender imbalance in our, and the aviation industry’s, pilot community”. The airline, 94 percent of whose pilots are male, has set a target that 20 percent of its new pilots should be female by the end of the decade.
“I also want to affirm my own commitment to address the gender imbalance in our pilot community which drives our overall gender pay gap,” Lundgren said in today’s statement. “I want us not just to hit our target that 20 percent of our new pilots should be female by 2020 but to go further than this in the future.”
Analysts on easyJet
Sanford C. Bernstein, which has a ‘neutral’ rating on easyJet, set a price target of 1,600p on the shares today. According to MarketBeat, the low-cost carrier currently has a consensus ‘hold’ rating and an average price target of 1,522.82p.