FILE PHOTO: Carolyn McCall, chief executive officer of EasyJet Plc, reacts as she arrives at Schiphol Airport, operated by the Schiphol Group, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. McCall is stepping down from the discount carrier to take up the same role at ITV Plc, it was announced in a statement released by EasyJet on Monday, July 17, 2017. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
Carolyn McCall, the former chief executive of easyJet, faces a tough challenge in her new role as head of ITV. Jasper Juinen / Bloomberg

Incoming head of ITV has tough remit – but track record suggests she is up to it

Since she took over as the chief executive of easyJet in 2010, Carolyn McCall has been an outstanding success, steering the low-cost airline through an increasingly competitive and regulatory environment, growing its market share, opening up new routes and almost trebling its share price.

But she is an ambitious lady and after seven busy years in the job she is moving on, taking over as the head of ITV, the United Kingdom’s biggest commercial broadcaster. It is a bigger company and a bigger job – ITV has a market value of £7 billion (Dh33.58bn) against £5.6bn for easyJet – but it also has its bigger share of bigger problems. In May, the company warned investors to expect an 8 to 9 per cent decline in ad revenues in the first half of 2017 and last week the chief executive of Channel 4, David Abraham, said the UK ad market has already dipped into recession as advertisers cut back spending in the face of the political and economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.

However, Ms McCall is no stranger to problems or advertising recessions: she was the chief executive of Guardian Media which, through no fault of hers, has lost an average of £1 million a week for the past 10 years and shows no sign of slowing down. Fortunately, it still has a large pile of cash left over from the sale of its stake in Autotrader, the vehicle classifieds business, but nothing lasts forever. She started her career in the advertising department of the Independent newspaper which, alas, is no more at least in print form, another victim of collapsing ad revenues for traditional media the world over as Facebook and Google eat into the market.

Nor is she any stranger to Brexit-inspired problems. All the European airlines have been struggling in one way or another with the uncertainty caused by the British government’s chaotic approach to EU exit negotiations as well as terrorist attacks and a glut of airline capacity that has driven down fares. In May, Ms McCall announced that easyJet had plunged to its worst first-half loss for six years (£236m), partly as a result the fall in sterling, which cost it £82m.

But she is not the kind of person to let little things like Brexit get her down. When Britain voted "Leave", she immediately set out on a strategy to take advantage of the expected turmoil in the wider European airline industry, upgraded her orders with Airbus to bigger planes and established a new Vienna-based airline to minimise disruption and maintain flights within the continent after 2019. EU rules state that an airline must be based in Europe to fly across the continent and the establishment of "easyJet Europe" anticipates the possibility of the UK and EU failing to sign a deal that preserves all the benefits of the single aviation market.

When she embarked on that energetic strategy, she obviously expected to be there to implement it – the ITV job was not on the horizon then and, even if it was, there was no certainty she would be offered it. Or even want it. Its issues are of a completely different dimension. Under its previous chief executive Adam Crozier, who left in June after being in charge for seven years, ITV has been reducing its reliance on the advertising market by growing its production division. But it still has a long way to go and on Monday analysts were muttering darkly about her challenge to shore up ITV’s domestic dominance of UK TV advertising at the same time as growing new digital revenues, particularly from targeted online ads. The media research firm Enders solemnly warned that broadcast TV advertising, unlike print display, which has been falling in double digits for years, “may have looked immune to online until very recent times, but all that is starting to change”.

To less stout-hearted people than Ms McCall, reversing, or even slowing the fall, could look like an impossible task. She could not do it at The Guardian, which is said to be seriously considering abandoning its Monday to Friday print edition, and she will struggle to do it at ITV. It could also be said that, although she did well at easyJet, her great rival Ryanair did even better, with a five-fold increase in the share price against her three since 2010. And although she did well financially at easyJet, earning £6m to £7m a year in the peak times, Ryanair's chief Michael O'Leary handsomely topped her, recently selling 4 million shares at an all-time peak to net £63.5m.

But she will have a go – and will not be paid badly for trying. Mr Crozier earned £3.4m in 2016 and on Monday ITV announced that Ms McCall’s package would at least match that, and she would also receive compensation for giving up long-term share options at easyJet.

At The Guardian, where she rose through the ranks, she was known as a "very tough" operator – which she needed to be in the first few years of her tenure at easyJet as she and fought a pitched battle against the airline's cranky founder and biggest shareholder, Stelios Haji-Iaonnou, who complained that it had created no shareholder value for a decade.

The difference is that at easyJet she was operating in a growing market. ITV operates in a shrinking one.

But if anyone can bring it off, she can.


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Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

I Feel Pretty
Dir: Abby Kohn/Mark Silverstein
Starring: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel


Director: Rajesh A Krishnan

Starring: Tabu, Kareena Kapoor Khan, Kriti Sanon

Rating: 3.5/5

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and


Director: Nayla Al Khaja

Starring: Jefferson Hall, Faten Ahmed, Noura Alabed, Saud Alzarooni

Rating: 3.5/5

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5


Director: Matt Johnson

Stars: Jay Baruchel, Glenn Howerton, Matt Johnson

Rating: 4/5

UAE squad

Ali Kashief, Salem Rashid, Khalifa Al Hammadi, Khalfan Mubarak, Ali Mabkhout, Omar Abdelrahman, Mohammed Al Attas (Al Jazira), Mohmmed Al Shamsi, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mohammad Barghash, Khalil Al Hammadi (Al Wahda), Khalid Eisa, Mohammed Shakir, Ahmed Barman, Bandar Al Ahbabi (Al Ain), Adel Al Hosani, Al Hassan Saleh, Majid Suroor (Sharjah), Waleed Abbas, Ismail Al Hammadi, Ahmed Khalil (Shabab Al Ahli Dubai) Habib Fardan, Tariq Ahmed, Mohammed Al Akbari (Al Nasr), Ali Saleh, Ali Salmeen (Al Wasl), Hassan Al Mahrami (Baniyas)


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Civil War

Director: Alex Garland 

Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Cailee Spaeny, Wagner Moura, Nick Offerman

Rating: 4/5

UAE v United States, T20 International Series

Both matches at ICC Academy, Dubai. Admission is free.

1st match: Friday, 2pm

2nd match: Saturday, 2pm

UAE squad: Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Rameez Shahzad, Amjad Gul, CP Rizwan, Mohammed Boota, Abdul Shakoor, Ahmed Raza, Imran Haider, Sultan Ahmed, Zahoor Khan, Amir Hayat

USA squad: Saurabh Netravalkar (captain), Jaskaran Malhotra, Elmore Hutchinson, Aaron Jones, Nosthush Kenjige, Ali Khan, Jannisar Khan, Xavier Marshall, Monank Patel, Timil Patel, Roy Silva, Jessy Singh, Steven Taylor, Hayden Walsh

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South Korea 55-5 Malaysia
Malaysia 6-70 Hong Kong
UAE 36-32 South Korea

Friday, June 21, 7.30pm kick-off: UAE v Malaysia
At The Sevens, Dubai (admission is free).
Saturday: Hong Kong v South Korea

How to wear a kandura


  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester


  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying

Directors: Scott Beck, Bryan Woods

Stars: Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, Chloe Coleman

Rating: 2/5

How to donate

Text the following numbers:

2289 - Dh10

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*numbers work for both Etisalat and du


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
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Company name: Co Chocolat

Started: 2017

Founders: Iman and Luchie Suguitan

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Food

Funding: $1 million-plus

Investors: Fahad bin Juma, self-funding, family and friends

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo hybrid
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Torque: 1,020Nm
Transmission: 9-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 7.5L/100km
On sale: Early 2024
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Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

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