Stelios steps up pressure in battle with board

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EASYJET founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou yesterday stepped up the war of words with the airline’s board over pay by inviting directors to “resign any time” if they are opposed to efforts to rein in bonuses.

The board is preparing to use a ballot at next month’s AGM on remuneration as a “vote of confidence” after Stelios threatened to block a deal that would see ten executives awarded £8 million over three years. According to reports, board members could go so far as to resign if the vote does not go their way.

But Stelios yesterday poured cold water on the threat, saying the company could “easily replace them with talented executives and experienced non-executive directors who will cost half as much in bonuses”.

“We must take a stand against directors who seem to regard our company as their personal piggy bank,” he said. “The gravy train of £180m free shares issued over the past decade must end now.”