Stelios intends to resign as Chairman at 2003 AGM; Sir Colin Chandler appointed Deputy Chairman.
easyJet PLC, the leading European low-cost airline, today announces significant changes to the composition and structure of its Board, following representations made by institutional investors.
Since the IPO in November 2000, easyJet has grown rapidly, both in terms of its operation and market capitalisation. Recent announcements have confirmed easyJet`s intention to continue its growth and the company wishes to ensure that its Board has the appropriate structure and composition for a major listed company, whilst reflecting the highest standard of corporate governance.
The changes are:
- Stelios Haji-Ioannou intends to resign as Chairman of easyJet PLC at the next Annual General Meeting in 2003. Sir Colin Chandler has been appointed as Deputy Chairman, with immediate effect, with the intention to succeed Stelios as Chairman at that AGM. As a result, the Chairman will be independent from the controlling shareholders.
- All current executive directors, with the exception of the Chief Executive and the Finance Director, will resign from the PLC Board and continue or become directors of easyJet Airline Company Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the PLC and the company which holds the Air Operators Certificate. As a result, the majority of directors of easyJet PLC will be independent.
Stelios Haji-Ioannou said:
“Since the IPO, easyJet has gone from strength to strength and, as the recent Trading Statement revealed, I am very confident about its prospects. The company has a strong management team led by Ray Webster, the Chief Executive, who has been with easyJet from the beginning and who has been running the company for the last couple of years.
“I am convinced that Ray and his team can continue this strong progress and this is the appropriate time to plan my stepping-down from the easyJet Board in order to concentrate on my new ventures.
“I intend to remain a significant shareholder of this company for a very long time. However, as I have made clear on several occasions in the past, I have no other source of income from easyJet other than disposal of shares and, as I engage in new ventures, I may need to liquidate some of my stock from time to time. As I have said before, I need to sell my past to finance my future.
“It is the sign of maturity in a young company to have a chairman who is independent from the controlling shareholders and I am delighted that Sir Colin Chandler has accepted our invitation to join the Board. His long experience in the aerospace industry and track-record in running major blue-chip public companies will be invaluable to easyJet as it continues to grow.
“Starting a company requires a very different skill set to those needed to chair a major PLC and I consider my strengths are in the former - I am a serial entrepreneur. The history of the City is littered with entrepreneurs who held onto their creations for too long, failing to recognise the changing needs of the company, its business and its shareholders. I took note of the concerns of institutional investors and I want to ensure the company abides by the highest standards of corporate governance.”
Sir Colin Chandler, said:
“To be invited to join the Board of easyJet with a view to becoming Chairman is a big honour for me as the company embarks on the next stage of its development.
“This is a bold and important move for both easyJet and Stelios. To stand-down as the Chairman of a company that Stelios has created speaks volumes about his commitment to the very highest standards of corporate governance and long-term shareholder value. I look forward to working alongside and learning from him until the next AGM.”