* UK budget airline's founder had fought to oust chairman
* Rake has expanding role as Barclays deputy chairman
* EasyJet says search has begun for Rake's replacement
LONDON, Jan 26 EasyJet Chairman Mike
Rake will step down this summer, the budget airline said on
Saturday, ending a fight by its founder and largest investor to
oust him because of his expanding role as deputy chairman of
Founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou urged Rake to leave last July
after Barclays said he would spend more time with the British
bank after the Libor interest-rate rigging scandal became
The airline rejected the call at the time and described it
as being part of a "continuing campaign to undermine the good
governance of the company."
Haji-Ioannou has had public disagreements with the airline's
board over strategy, including whether it should expand and buy
more planes. He founded the airline, with its distinctive orange
branding, in 1995.
In a statement, Rake said he wanted to make his position
clear before the company's annual general meeting on Feb. 21.
"EasyJet has by any definition enjoyed a period of success
and profitable growth in the last three years," he said. "As
this takes the airline to the threshold of entry to the FTSE 100
it is the right time for me to stand down."
Rake joined the easyJet board as deputy chairman in June
2009 and became chairman in January 2010. He is also chairman of