Business World

Friday 19 September 2014

New EasyJet chairman to engage with former chief

Published 18/04/2013 | 05:00

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PA

EasyJet has said John Barton, chairman of British fashion retailer Next, will become its new chairman next month, as the carrier plans to expand its fleet.

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Mr Barton (68), who is also chairman of insurance group Catlin, will need to manage fractious relations with founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou and ensure growth continues at Europe's second-largest budget airline by passengers after Ryanair

"One of Barton's most important jobs will be to engage with Stelios because tensions between him and the board have been a distraction," said Espirito Santo analyst Gerald Khoo.

Mr Stelios, whose family controls 37pc of EasyJet shares, quit the airline's board in 2010 after a row over strategy. Since then, he has been critical of many of the airline's plans.

Having founded the low-cost carrier in 1995, Mr Stelios tried to oust the chairman Mike Rake – whom Mr Barton will replace – last year but the attempt was rebuffed by investors.

Irish Independent

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