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Business Analysis & Features

Week in Review: Charles Gurassa and Jeremy Darroch

In profit

Charles Gurassa must have had quite the Cheshire cat grin on Monday, after it was confirmed that Sir Michael Rake was stepping down as chairman at easyJet.

As the low-cost airline's deputy, Gurassa was immediately tipped as the hot internal favourite to step into the shoes of Sir Michael, who said it was "the right time" to leave because easyJet is on the threshold of joining the FTSE 100.

The airline is expected to be promoted to the blue-chip index in March, and Sir Michael would have been chairman at two FTSE 100 groups – the other being BT – and that is against corporate governance guidelines.

Carpetright unveiled surprisingly strong sales for the 13 weeks to 26 January, which boss Darren Shapland said was a result of a store refurbishment programme that has apparently convinced customers to shake the cobwebs out of their wallets.

At a loss

On Thursday, BskyB chief executive Jeremy Darroch revealed a strong rise in interim profit to £642m.

Mr Kipling to Bisto maker Premier Foods shook the market first thing on Monday when chief executive Michael Clarke quit after just 18 months in the job. Clarke was paid a £1.94m golden hello when he joined from Kraft, but he had helped turn the business around and shares were instantly hit by his resignation.

Clarke will stay on for a few months as he hands over to Gavin Darby, a former executive at Vodafone and Coca-Cola. There is speculation that Darby's appointment might herald a sale of what was once Britain's biggest food manufacturer.

3i boss Simon Borrows started plotting the business's defence strategy after it emerged that the activist fund Sherborne Investors had built a sizeable stake in Britain's oldest private equity firm on Tuesday.

On Thursday, AstraZeneca's new chief executive, Pascal Soriot, above, announced the probability of revenue decline this year.