EASYJET founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou yesterday weighed in to the furore surrounding the Barclays Libor-fixing scandal, calling for the head of Sir Mike Rake.
Rake, the Barclays senior independent director who was yesterday promoted to deputy chairman, also serves as chairman of EasyJet.
“As Mike Rake is chairman of the relevant audit sub-committee and a member of the risk management and corporate governance sub-committees [at Barclays], detection and exposure of these wrongdoings were ultimately his responsibility,” said Haji-Ioannou, calling Rake “the dog that didn’t bark”.
Haji-Ioannou also accused Rake of having his finger in too many pies, and used the opportunity to suggest he retire from his EasyJet duties.
The Greek Cypriot tycoon claimed that Rake had promised him in 2009 – before becoming EasyJet chairman – that he would “scale back his other City commitments” to focus on EasyJet and BT, the telecoms giant where he is also chair.
“Yet three years on he still clings on to four big jobs including Barclays, which has just become more time consuming, and US-based McGraw Hill,” added Haji-Ioannou.
The EasyJet founder alleged former KPMG International chairman Rake’s work at EasyJet “stands as a landmark conflict of interest”, citing examples where KPMG and BT have benefited from deals with the low cost airline.
EasyJet’s biggest investor continued called for Rake to stand down from EasyJet, adding in a statement: “We will consider using our right as a major shareholder to call an extraordinary general meeting with Mike Rake’s removal from office as the sole item of business.”