EasyJet’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, was paid more than £15m in the last two years, the company’s annual report says, including share awards worth £12m.
The low-cost airline’s boss saw a dip in her annual rewards in 2015, with a total £6.2m package, including a £917,000 cash bonus. But her pay and bonuses for 2014, which were reported as £7.7m, have now been revised upwards to £9.2m after shares vested at a higher price.
McCall’s package means the former Guardian Media Group chief executive has been comfortably the best paid among chief executives of the three biggest airline operations in the UK, all of whom emphasise their commitment to cost-cutting in less sensitive fields than boardroom rewards.
Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ owner IAG, earned £6.4m in 2014 and Michael O’Leary, of Ryanair, earned around £1.6m. However, O’Leary’s personal shareholding in the airline has swelled to a colossal €735m (£530m) on which he was recently paid a dividend of around €15m.
A spokesman for easyJet said McCall’s remuneration reflected easyJet’s record profits, returns and share price rise. “Remuneration for directors is heavily weighted towards variable pay, dependent on performance. This ensures that there is a clear link between the value created for shareholders and the amount paid to directors.
“Shareholders have shared in this success through a 20% rise in the share price during the financial year. Dividends of £180m were paid during the year and easyJet has recently recommended to shareholders the payment of a dividend of 55.2p per share to be paid in March 2015, an increase of 21.6%.
“EasyJet is committed to sharing its success with its people – giving shares to all staff, including cabin crew and pilots. All easyJet employees are shareholders in the company and as at 30 September 2015 they owned 12.6m shares between them worth £224m.”
Last month the airline announced record profits, up 18% to £686m for 2014-15, with passenger numbers up 6% to 68.6 million.
This article was written by Gwyn Topham Transport correspondent, for theguardian.com on Friday 4th December 2015 14.13 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010