Howard-Allen (pictured) currently heads up external affairs at Associated British Foods, the owner of Primark, as well as FMCG brands including Twinings and Ovaltine. She will join easyJet in August.
She was previously director of comms and CR at Marks & Spencer where she led the creation of their sustainability campaign, Plan A. Prior to that, Howard-Allen was a director at Hill + Knowlton where she ran consumer, corporate, crisis and internal communications teams.
Anna Knowles, easyJet’s director of PR and corporate affairs, will handle the comms chief role on an interim basis until August, and thereafter will report to Howard-Allen. Knowles has an eight-strong external comms team.
Howard-Allen takes overall responsibility for all easyJet’s media communications and public affairs across all its markets, as well as leading the airline’s internal communications and CSR activities.
She said: "I have always admired easyJet and I am delighted to be joining the team at this very exciting time in the company’s development."
New CMO and CEO
Her appointment was one of five changes to the airline’s management board announced today by Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s CEO, at the same time as revealing a better-than-expected half-yearly pre-tax loss of £18m. Shares rose on the news.
Lundgren – who joined easyJet last December on a salary of £706,000, replacing longstanding CEO Carolyn McCall - said the new team was designed to enable easyJet to better deliver its strategy, accelerate its use of data, expand the easyJet Holidays business, carry more business passengers and introduce a new reward-and-recognition loyalty programme.
Apart from Howard-Allen, the other senior appointments were:
- Lis Blair as chief marketing officer, promoted from her role as easyJet’s CRM and insight director;
- Garry Wilson, who was an MD at TUI Group, as CEO, easyJet Holidays;
- Luca Zuccoli as chief data officer;
- Thomas Haagensen as group markets director.
Blair will lead easyJet’s brand, marketing and digital strategy, as well as the airline’s customer experience strategy, together with its customer research, loyalty and CRM activities.
Two such senior female appointments may help easyJet reduce its large gender pay gap. The FTSE 100 firm has revealed the difference between male and female pay is 51.7 per cent, though this is largely because the vast majority of its pilots are male.