With just 18 months in the job, easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren has already made his mark. Thanks to strong leadership and investing in his employees, Lundgren has been named one of the Top CEOs in the UK for 2019. With a 93% approval rating, the new CEO has leveraged employee feedback to build a culture that is inclusive, flexible and welcoming.
"Our people are at the heart of everything we do at easyJet and so I want to ensure we have an inclusive and energising environment where everyone feels they can do their best work," Lundgren told Glassdoor on the eve of his win.
Back in 2018, Lundgren made news after the budget airline discovered a staggering gender pay gap —male staff were paid 51.7 per cent more than its female staff. As a result, he took £34,000 pay cut to reduce his salary to that of his predecessor Carolyn McCall, in a bid to show his “personal commitment” to equal pay for men and women.
We spoke with Lundgren about his banner year, what type of talent he is looking to hire, and why employee feedback is so valuable.
Glassdoor: Congratulations on the Top CEOs win. What does it mean to you to know that your employees have rated you so highly?
Johan Lundgren: It is brilliant, especially since I have only been in my role for 18 months. Our people are at the heart of everything we do at easyJet and so I want to ensure we have an inclusive and energising environment where everyone feels they can do their best work. I think we have the best people working for easyJet and I’m really proud to lead the airline.
Glassdoor: One of a CEO’s primary responsibilities is to hire amazing executives. What attributes do you look for in today’s leaders?
Johan Lundgren: Attitude is key – top talent need to be able to engage and inspire their teams to be successful.
Glassdoor: When you interview candidates, what do you look for? What questions do you love to ask or what aspects do you like to dig into?
Johan Lundgren: I want to get to know the person, as well as the candidate. I want to bring out the best of every individual. Encourage everyone to make a difference. Instill in everyone that what they do matters and ensure that everyone gets the support and tools they need to make that happen. Understand the individual’s motivation so that the fit with the company is a great match.
Glassdoor: How do you align the company’s recruiting strategy with business needs?
Johan Lundgren: We have a clear strategy and a clear plan. We know what we need to do to continue to be successful. We know the behaviours we want everyone to display in the company. Therefore we know what capabilities and characteristics of people we are looking for.
Glassdoor: When it comes to Glassdoor, how do you use the platform for recruiting and to keep your finger on the pulse of both company culture and candidate experience?
Johan Lundgren: Glassdoor is a very valuable tool. Not only to gain insight of what your past and present people feel but it is also a great platform to promote easyJet as a great place to work. Authentic feedback is crucial to support our employee brand as well as evolving our ways of working.