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Easyjet flies into shareholder revolt on pay as director deal voted down

Company founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, votes against directors.

Almost half of EasyJet’s shareholders, include the airline’s founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, today voted against a controversial pay deal for the company’s board. About 48% of the company’s shareholders voted against approving the board remuneration, while 45% voted in favour and 7% withheld their vote. Stelios Haji-Ioannou is EasyJet’s biggest shareholder with about 38% of the shares. In a reported letter last week to EasyJet chairman, Sir Michael Rake, Haji-Ioannou – known more commonly as Stelios – said he would vote against the board pay deal because of a proposed payment to the airline’s former chief executive Andy Harrison.Stelios claimed Harrison would be given a £1m payout for the period from April to September 2010, even though he had left the company on June 30. The Harrison pay deal would have been approved as part of today’s director remuneration. It is understood that a number of institutional shareholder proxy voting houses including PIRC in the UK, also advised shareholders to vote against the board remuneration package. Votes against remuneration packages are advisory in the UK.