Easyjet chairman survives motion to dismiss him

Sir Mike Rake, chairman of EasyJet, yesterday survived a motion to dismiss him. Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the airline’s biggest shareholder, had proposed the motion. After the motion failed he said that the City encourages conflicts of interest.

The company held a meeting at Luton Airport for shareholders where Sir Stelios proposed to eject Sir Mike, also Barclays’ deputy chairman. The EGM (extraordinary general meeting) was initially proposed when the bank was immersed in the Libor-rigging scandal when Sir Mike was supposed to be made chairman of the board.

Even following the fact Sir Stelios, chairman of BT, ruled himself out of the role, he demanded Sir Mike’s scalp. Sir Stelios, with members of his family, controls 37.5% of EasyJet. However the board of the budget airline supported their chairman and defeated the motion by 53.3% at the meeting. Sir Stelios, who did not attend the EGM, said he was happy with the action, despite losing.

He is reported to have said that another two individual shareholders were fobbed off at the meeting after asking the same questions of the City establishment. He said his objective is to hold the City to account now that they have confirmed their poor reputation.