Next Chairman to take over reins of easyJet Chairman

Chairman of fashion retailer Next, John Barton, is in talks to chair low-cost airline easyJet, Sky News reported Tuesday.

Chairman of fashion retailer Next, John Barton, is in talks to chair low-cost airline easyJet, Sky News reported Tuesday.

Barton has emerged as a contender to replace Sir Mike Rake, who retires this summer to become President of CBI, a business lobby group.

easyJet is yet to confirm a successor and insiders told the broadcaster at least one other person besides Barton is in line for the job.

"His is one of the names in the mix but it isn't the only one," a source said.

Another possible candidate is Charles Gurassa, the Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director of easyJet.

The budget carrier is expected to make a decision as soon as this week.

Rake leaves following reports of company infighting with the airline's founder and largest shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Haji-Ioannou accused Rake of having to may corporate roles and being involved in the excessive pay culture at Barclays, where he is Deputy Chairman.

He had also called on the company's management to reduce its investment in new aircraft deliveries and focus on improving shareholder returns.

The founder threatened to reduce his stake if the company placed a large order to expand its fleet.

If Barton is selected as Rake's replacement, he would likely hand over his responsibilities at Next in a couple of years.

An easyJet spokesman declined to comment.

RD

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