Stelios plans fresh pressure on easyJet to sack chair Sir Michael

Marion Dakers
EASYJET founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is today expected to lose a vote to oust chairman Sir Michael Rake – but he plans to continue in his efforts to remove him.

The tycoon will not attend the shareholder meeting he called, but is understood to have drawn up a list of questions for the board on the suitability of Sir Michael, who is also deputy chairman at scandal-hit Barclays, as well as chair of BT.

Sir Stelios, who owns around 37 per cent of easyJet’s shares, has been asking the firm to replace Sir Michael for almost a year, in an increasingly fraught dispute over plane orders, share awards and alleged conflicts of interest.

But based on proxy votes, easyJet investors look set to emphatically reject Sir Stelios’s demands today.

Seven of the firm’s biggest shareholders, along with advisory bodies ISS and Glass Lewis, have already come out in support of Sir Michael. In February, the chair won 56.8 per cent approval for his re-election – rising to 99.6 per cent if Sir Stelios’s vote is excluded.