easyJet under fire for ‘gender pay gap’ CEO salary

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Low-cost carrier guilty of unequal pay for women, campaigners say

After announcing the identity of its new chief executive, low-cost carrier easyJet has come under fire from equal pay campaigners for the salary it is alleged it will pay him.

According to press reports, the airline will pay incoming chief executive Johan Lundgren more than his predecessor Carolyn McCall.

Lundgren, who will join the UK-based carrier on December 1, will receive a basic salary of £740,000 (€830,000), which according to the financial advice site This is Money is £36,000 more than McCall got during her seven years running the company.

Equal pay campaigners have criticised the move, highlighting the fact that Lundgren has significantly less experience in the sector than his predecessor did.

“This is a classic example of a less experienced man being more highly valued than the experienced woman he is replacing, for no other reason than the fact that he is a man,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the feminist-oriented Women’s Equality Party.

“This is why we are campaigning for equal pay, because it is unfair that women have to fight all the time for recognition, while it is handed on a plate to men.”

Stefan Stern, director of the UK’s High Pay Centre, added: “It doesn’t look great that he has come in higher than his predecessor. It’s going to raise a few eyebrows.”

Broadly in line
In a statement issued to TTG Media, an easyJet spokesperson said: “[Lundgren’s] basic salary is broadly in line with [his] predecessor’s. All other aspects – including the overall structure, all bonus and long term incentive plan targets – are identical.”

McCall, who will leave easyJet to head the television company ITV, will be replaced by Lundgren, who was with Tui Group for 12 years as group deputy chief executive and as chief executive for mainstream markets.

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