EasyJet's chairman Sir Mike Rake yesterday survived a motion to sack him, leaving the airline's biggest shareholder and proposer of the motion, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, claiming the City had "confirmed its reputation as the place where conflicts of interest and web of directorships are encouraged".
At a shareholder meeting at Luton Airport yesterday, Sir Stelios presented a resolution to eject Sir Mike, who is also deputy chairman of Barclays. The extraordinary general meeting (EGM) was first tabled after the bank was engulfed in the Libor-rigging scandal and Sir Mike was expected to be promoted to chair the board.
Even after the BT chairman ruled himself out, Sir Stelios, who with other members of his family controls 37.5 per cent of EasyJet, demanded Sir Mike's scalp.
The budget airline's board, however, supported their chairman and the motion was defeated by 53.3 per cent at the meeting.
Sir Stelios did not attend the EGM and despite losing, said he was pleased with the action.
"Two other individual shareholders asked the same questions at the meeting and got fobbed off by the City establishment," he said.
"The more people ask these questions, the more accountability we have. My objective is to hold these guys to account…
"In my mind the City has confirmed its reputation as the place where conflicts of interest and web of directorships are encouraged and protected for the benefit of a handful of insiders."