easyJet Chairman to step down this summer

Sir Mike Rake, the Chairman of budget airline easyJet, is to step down from the board this summer, the company said on Monday morning.

Sir Mike Rake, the Chairman of budget airline easyJet, is to step down from the board this summer, the company said on Monday morning.

In a press release that confirmed earlier weekend reports, easyJet said that Rake has agreed to stay in his post until a successor is found to ensure a smooth hand over. The board has already started looking for a new Chairman.

The move comes after three years of high-profile public arguments between management and easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou about how the company is run. These battles culminated last week in Stelios threatening to sell part of his stake if the board goes ahead with plans to buy new aircraft.

Stelios, who had previously attempted to oust Rake as Chairman and failed, voiced his concern over the company's expansion plans in an open letter published on January 21st, accusing directors of "squandering" cash on new planes.

Unsurprisingly, the company made no mention of this confrontation on Monday.

Commenting on his departure, Rake said: "In advance of the forthcoming AGM I wanted to make my position clear.easyJet has by any definition enjoyed a period of success and profitable growth in the last three years. As this takes the airline to the threshold of entry to the FTSE 100 it is the right time for me to stand down.

"It has been a tremendous experience to chair easyJet over the last three years. easyJet is a dynamic and successful company in a vitally important sector for the European economy," he said.

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