Stelios needs to buy up or shut up

Written by Mark Avery on Tuesday, 14 February 2012. Posted in News from 2012, Mark's blog

Humiliation for easyJet founder over shares dispute

EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has suffered an embarrassing setback in his attempts to overturn proposals to award shares to senior executives at the airline.

The no-frills airline's board has received backing from the company's three biggest institutional shareholders - Standard Life, Sanderson Asset Management and M&G. They have joined forces to voice their support for the company in advance of an upcoming vote on the share awards. Between them, the three investment firms own 17.5% of EasyJet.

Sir Stelios is still the biggest single shareholder, owning 37% of the airline, but he is no longer on the board. He has been a vocal and rather tiresome critic of the direction easyJet has been moving in recent years. He wants The Big Orange to stay firmly at the no-frills end of the market, but the current management, headed by chief executive Carolyn McCall, are pushing for a slightly more upmarket product focused on attracting more business customers.

Whoever is right, Sir Stelios needs to either accept that he is no longer in charge and stop bleating to his friends in the press or buy back control of his beloved airline.

About the Author

Mark Avery

Mark Avery

Mark Avery wanted to be a Concorde pilot, but being colour blind put a halt to that particular career path. The demise of Concorde didn't help matters either! He took up journalism instead. Following a stint moaning about Coventry City's plight for a living, the dad of two girls is now is in charge of all things editorial at flightmapping.com.

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