17-May-2010 9:24 AM

Founder resigns from easyJet board

easyJet founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, resigned (14-May-2010) from the position of non-executive director on the carrier’s board. Robert Rothenberg, a Stelios nominee, also resigned from the board. Both sit as representatives of easyGroup, a 26.2% shareholder of easyJet. Sir Stelios resigned his position in protest at the carrier’s planned rate of capacity expansion and to gain greater freedom to exercise easyGroup's rights as a shareholder. easyJet's board approved a growth rate in Jun-2009 of approximately 7.5% growth p/a over the medium term. He and his easyGroup holding company are also in a legal dispute with the carrier over the amount of revenue easyJet can derive from non-ticket sources. A court hearing is scheduled for early Jun-2010 and a decision from the courts is not expected until autumn 2010.

Sir Stelios: "Your only weapon as a non-executive is to resign. As a shareholder I may have stronger rights as I can discuss it [the number of planes] with other shareholders without being in possession of inside information. I think profits will go up if the number of aircraft stops growing. I have given up trying to change things from the inside. Now I'm going to do it from the outside," Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Source: The Daily Telegraph, 14-May-2010. [more]