New EasyJet CEO Takes Pay Cut to Match Salary of Female Predecessor

Jan 29, 2018

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EasyJet’s new CEO is taking a pay cut. Johan Lundgren, who was appointed as EasyJet CEO on December 1, 2017, voluntarily asked the London-based carrier’s board to cut his salary to match that of his female predecessor, Carolyn McCall.

As announced by EasyJet in a statement on Monday, Lundgren was originally offered a starting annual salary of £740,000 (~$1.04 million). However, Lundgren made the decision to request a cut to match the £706,000 (~$994,000) earned by McCall when she left the company. According to the statement, all other aspects of Lundgren’s earnings, such as his bonus and long-term incentive plan, will remain identical to McCall’s when she left EasyJet. In all, it’s a 4.6% pay cut for Lundgren.

As part of this announcement, EasyJet also said that the overall gender pay gap at the airline is 51.7%. The airline continued to defend that difference by noting it’s caused by the gender imbalance in the aviation industry’s pilot community. In fact, EasyJet says that 94% of its pilots are male. Lundgren has plans to ensure that 20% of EasyJet pilots are female by 2020.

In April, a new UK government mandate takes effect, which requires all companies with more than 250 employees to publish details of their gender pay gaps by April 4. EasyJet was one of the first companies to report its gap, and other airlines in the UK have yet to report.

According to Bloomberg, Lundgren left TUI AG in 2015 after it merged with its UK business. Until joining EasyJet as CEO on December 1, 2017, Lundgren was a travel consultant, as he was contractually barred from working for a rival company for a period of time. Since Lundgren’s predecessor McCall left the company, only two female board members remain.

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