Stelios leads shareholder revolt against executive pay deal

A shareholder revolt, led by easyJet founder Stelios Haji-loannou, has won its battle against “excessive” director salaries at the low-cost carrier.

Investors voted against the airline’s payments to its executives last year. Easyjet said it “acknowledged the concern” from some shareholders.

Sir Stelios, whose family owns a 38 percent stake in the group, led the protest in revolt to the remuneration deal paid to the airline’s former chief executive.

The airline’s annual report reveals Harrison picked up £2.5m in salary and bonuses during 2010, including the £1m fixed cash payment for six months work and £1.2 million under a “golden handcuffs” retention deal agreed in May 2009.

Easyjet said that the payment to Mr Harrison was a “one-off” made in “unusual and difficult circumstances”.

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“The company has now moved forward,” it added.

Sir Stelios said the result proved many shareholders felt Mr Harrison’s compensation was “undeserved and completely unjustified”.

“I sincerely hope that this is the last time in the life of this company that a bonus is paid without taking the company’s financial results into account.”

Sir Stelios claimed he was not consulted on Mr Harrison’s fixed-term package either as a director or shareholder.