Next exec to chair easyJet as Mike Rake steps down

Budget airline easyJet has confirmed rumours that Chairman Sir Mike Rake is to stand down from the board in a couple of weeks' time and will be replaced by the Chairman of High Street chain Next, John Barton.

Budget airline easyJet has confirmed rumours that Chairman Sir Mike Rake is to stand down from the board in a couple of weeks' time and will be replaced by the Chairman of High Street chain Next, John Barton.

Rake, who was appointed as Deputy Chairman in June 2009, informed the board of his intention to leave back in January. The company, which joined the FTSE 100 last month, said that he as "steered" the business through three years of "success and profitable growth".

He will leave the company on May 1st.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rake said: "It has been a great experience to chair easyJet for the last three years and most particularly to see the strong management team and board in place, implementing a strategy that is clearly working.John Barton will make an excellent chairman for the next stage of easyJet's development."

Barton, who is also the Chairman of insurance group Catlin, has chaired major quoted companies for over 16 years and has "sound financial expertise and great understanding of high profile, competitive consumer markets from his time at Next," according to David Bennett, easyJet's Chairman of the nominations committee.

"We are extremely pleased to have recruited a new chairman of John Barton's calibre. John brings a wealth of plc board experience and valuable commercial expertise to easyJet," Bennett said.

Barton said that he looks forward to taking up the new rolls and aims to "ensure that the management team of easyJet can continue to deliver profitable growth and market leading returns".

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