EasyJet picks Next’s Barton as its new chair

Marion Dakers
NEXT and Catlin chairman John Barton yesterday added aviation to his non-executive expertise, after FTSE 100 carrier EasyJet picked him as its new chairman.

Barton will replace Sir Michael Rake from 1 May, the firm said in a statement yesterday.

Sir Michael announced in January that he was stepping down this year, surviving a campaign from major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to oust him before his departure date in a dispute over his extra roles including a board position at Barclays.

Barton will remain chairman of retailer Next and insurance group Catlin when he takes up his EasyJet post. Sir Stelios declined to comment on his appointment yesterday.

“John brings a wealth of plc board experience and valuable commercial expertise to EasyJet,” said David Bennett, the board member who led the search for Sir Michael’s replacement.

“He has chaired major quoted companies for over 16 years, has sound financial expertise and great understanding of high profile, competitive consumer markets from his time at Next.”

Barton’s employment terms will be the same as Sir Michael’s, meaning he will be paid £300,000 a year and will not participate in long-term incentive schemes.

Barton is a chartered accountant and led JIB Group from 1984 to 1997, when it merged with Jardine Lloyd Thomson.