Tuesday 26 May 2020 8:16 am

Easyjet finance chief resigns after surviving Stelios coup

Easyjet chief financial officer Andrew Findlay has resigned from the company just days after surviving an attempted clear-out of the company’s management by founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Findlay, who joined the budget airline as finance chief in 2015, will leave the company in May 2021 in line with his contractual obligations.

“Although I have given notice to leave easyJet in a year’s time, I remain fully committed to the business to support Johan [Lundgren] and to ensure easyJet successfully weathers this unprecedented time for the airline industry,” Findlay said in a statement.

Easyjet will now start the search for Findlay’s successor.

The decision to step down comes despite Easyjet’s management team comfortably defeating the airline’s outspoken founder in a crunch board vote on Friday.

Haji-Ioannou, whose family owns 34 per cent of the company, initiated a vote to oust top executives following a row over Easyjet’s £4.5bn deal to buy 107 Airbus planes.

He argued the deal would put Easyjet’s future at risk, while management has said the purchase was necessary to replace old models and insisted the airline could survive the Covid-19 downturn.

Shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of Easyjet’s management, sparking a furious response from Haji-Ioannou, who accused the company of “voting fraud”.

Chief executive Johan Lundgren said he was sorry to see Findlay depart from the company next year.

“As the longest standing member of the airline management board, Andrew has and continues to provide solid financial steerage and guidance,” he said.

“This has been particularly so during recent months when he was quick to secure liquidity and deliver a significant reduction in cash burn.”

Easyjet has said it will resume a “small number” of flights on 15 June with safety measures in place for passengers and crew.

In a statement released this morning, Haji-Ioannou welcomed Findlay’s departure, stating “one scoundrel down, two to go!”.