April 17, 2013 / 6:19 AM / 4 years ago

EasyJet names John Barton as chairman

1 Min Read

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) - British airline easyJet on Wednesday named John Barton, the chairman of fashion retailer Next, as its next chairman.

The FTSE-100 low-cost airline said Barton would replace Mike Rake on May 1, when Rake will step down from the role.

Barton, who is 68, has chaired Next since 2006 and is also chairman of insurance group Catlin. He has also chaired Brit Insurance, Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Jardine Lloyd Thompson.

EasyJet will hope that Barton can improve the airline's relationship with its founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Stelios has called on easyJet's management to slow the pace of new aircraft deliveries and focus on improving shareholder returns. He has threatened to reduce his stake in easyJet if it places a large order to expand its fleet soon.

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