EasyJet opposes Stelios attempt to oust chairman

EasyJet is resisting calls by founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou to oust chairman Sir Michael Rake from his role.

Sir Stelios wants an extraordinary general meeting to try to force out chairman Sir Michael after he was tipped to take the top job at Barclays.

Sir Michael, senior independent director at the bank, was in the frame to succeed outgoing chairman Marcus Agius, who quit Barclays on Monday amid the Libor rate fixing scandal.

Agius was then reinstated after yesterday’s resignation of the bank’s chief executive Bob Diamond.

Barclays said earlier on Tuesday that Sir Michael would spend more time with the bank as part of his role there.

Sir Stelios said: “It is clear that, following Bob Diamond’s resignation at Barclays, everyone can see Mike Rake’s deep conflicts of interest and entrenched positions in the disgraced ‘City establishment’.

“His lack of diligence at stopping or outing this scandal at one of Britain’s major banks now calls into question his ability to hold down four major public company roles simultaneously. I think Mr. Conflict of Interest has to let some of it go now.”

But an easyJet spokesman said: “It’s very much business as usual at easyJet, and Mike remains our chairman, supported by a high-calibre board and deputy chairman.”

The airline said in a statement: “The board confirms that it has received a request from easyGroup asking it to convene an extraordinary general meeting at which a resolution would be tabled to vote on the removal of Sir Mike Rake as director and chairman of easyJet.

“The board is disappointed that easyGroup has taken this step and will write to shareholders in due course recommending that they vote against this resolution.”

Under UK corporate law, a company must hold a general meeting if it is requested by investors holding at least 10% of the equity. Sir Stelios controls 37% of easyJet.

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