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EasyJet finance chief steps down just days after winning battle with founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou

The finance director at easyJet will leave the airline just days after he won a vote to oust him from the position.

Andrew Findlay is step down in May next year, at the end of his year-long notice period. EasyJet has started the search for his successor.

Last Friday the board, including Findlay, scored a victory over easyJet’s biggest shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who had demanded that Findlay, chief executive Johan Lundgren, and chairman John Barton step down.

A majority of easyJet’s shareholders voted that Findlay and the other directors should stay. The fallout between the board and its founder comes as Sir Stelios wants easyJet to cancel a multi-billion pound Airbus contract.

Findlay, who joined easyJet as chief financial officer in 2015, was praised by chief executive Johan Lundgren for his efforts in helping to shore up easyJet’s balance sheet during the coronavirus crisis, as the airline battles to keep costs down at a time when its planes are grounded.

Findlay said: “Although I have given notice to leave easyJet in a year’s time, I remain fully committed to the business to support Johan and to ensure easyJet successfully weathers this unprecedented time for the airline industry. By the end of my notice period I will have been with this great company for almost six years and it will be the right time to pass the financial reins to someone who will help take easyJet into its next chapter.

“I would like to thank the shareholders who supported me and my fellow directors in the recent general meeting. I intend to repay that support in the coming year.”

Sir Stelios wants easyJet executives to abandon a £4.5 billion deal with Airbus which he believes could eat up all the carrier’s money.

But the board and shareholders have stuck by the deal as it will replace many ageing planes, which need extra fuel and maintenance.

Source: Evening Standard

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