EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has lost his bid to oust some of the carrier’s most senior management figures.
Last month, Sir Stelios sought a general meeting of the airline’s board, proposing to remove easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren, chairman John Barton, chief financial officer Andrew Findlay, and independent non-executive director Andreas Bierworth.
Sir Stelios, whose family remains easyJet’s largest shareholder with around a 34% stake in the business, had repeatedly called for the airline’s board to cancel a £4.5 billion order with Airbus to preserve cash.
However, at Friday’s meeting (22 May), Sir Stelios’s fellow shareholders voted 58% to 42% in favour of the board’s recommendation against his resolutions.
"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank shareholders for their support," said Barton. "The airline industry is facing unprecedented challenges, and the board’s immediate priority has been to take the necessary steps to successfully guide easyJet through this period of uncertainty.
"We are relentlessly focused on cash conservation and ensuring easyJet emerges from the Covid-19 crisis in a strong competitive position. The board seeks good relationships with all of the company’s shareholders and hopes to be able to re-engage constructively with Sir Stelios."
Sir Stelios said he would pursue the matter in the coming months as the coronavirus crisis unfolds.