EasyJet CEO Pay Almost Doubles as Carrier Ups Corporate Draw

EasyJet Plc Chief Executive Officer Carolyn McCall, who presided over an 84 percent shares gain in 2013, almost doubled her compensation this year as her strategy of moving the carrier toward higher-paying customers paid off.

Total renumeration for 2013 was 6.4 million pounds ($10.5 million), including a base salary of 665,000 pounds and bonus and long-term incentive payments of 5.7 million pounds, the Luton, England-based company said in its annual report today. The executive earned 3.69 million pounds in 2012.

Under McCall, a former media executive, the airline has intensified efforts to win business passengers with allocated seats, flexible tickets, fast-tracking and higher frequencies to key destinations. McCall also spearheaded a major fleet expansion with the purchase of new Airbus A320-type aircraft, an investment that was opposed by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the airline’s founder and largest shareholder.

“A nice job if you can get the other directors to vote for it,” Stelios, who goes by his first name, said in an e-mailed statement. “Yet another case of city insiders enriching themselves without taking any risk.”

EasyJet employees owned almost 19 million shares valued at more than 240 million pounds as of Sept. 30, the airline said in an e-mailed statement. That compares with about 100 million pounds the previous year. More than 90 percent of staff are investors in the carrier, it said.

The airline’s “pay strategy is constantly reviewed to ensure it is in line with companies of similar size and turnover in the FTSE 100 and is based on investors’ best practice guidance,” EasyJet said. Its annual general meeting is scheduled for Feb. 13.

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