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Stelios Haji-Ioannou to vote against return of easyJet directors

Stelios will be backing only two  of the ten-strong easyJet board. Picture: Getty

Stelios will be backing only two of the ten-strong easyJet board. Picture: Getty

  • by KRISTY DORSEY
 

SIR Stelios Haji-Ioannou will step up his assault on the board of the airline he founded at this week’s annual meeting of easyJet, where he intends to vote against re-election of four directors, including chairman Sir Michael Rake.

The entrepreneur also intends to withhold his 37.4 per cent voting bloc in the re-election of chief executive Carolyn McCall and three further directors.

In total, Stelios will vote in favour of just two members of the ten-strong board, both of whom were appointed less than a year ago.

The move, revealed in a posting on Stelios’ easyGroup website, is an escalation in what has already been a contentious and high-profile campaign against easyJet’s senior team.

The latest round in the long-running row centres on an executive share bonus scheme that Stelios has publicly vowed to oppose.

However, sources within easyJet are quietly confident that they will win the day at Thursday’s annual meeting, which is to be held in the company’s staff canteen at its Luton headquarters.

“It is extremely clear that easyJet has the support of its institutional shareholders,” a spokesman said.

Last week, easyJet’s three largest shareholders after Stelios – Standard Life, Sanderson Asset Management and M&G – publicly declared their support for the board.

The trio, which account for 17.5 per cent of the airline’s shares, confirmed that they would vote in favour of all resolutions.

Stelios has been campaigning against easyJet’s board for some three years on a variety of issues.

His protest at last year’s AGM over retention payments to outgoing chief executive Andrew Harrison sparked a revolt in which more than 51 per cent of shareholders abstained or voted against the remuneration report.

The only other dissent from Stelios at the 2011 AGM involved former deputy chairman David Michels.

 

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