Turbulent times

plane.jpgEven as Smarta was penning a blog extolling the virtues of Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou on Friday, a battle was raging within the walls of Hangar 89, the bright orange Luton office block the airline calls home.At a meeting held on Friday to approve the company’s annual results, it seems a fight broke out between the airline’s exuberant creator and the rest of the board. According to reports, Stelios considered the board’s plans to ‘cut the normal 15%-a-year expansion to “low single digits” reckless, demanding they curtail spending even more.Later, having taken on the voting rights of shares owned by his sister Clelia, Stelios allegedly threatened to either bring in two new board members or put himself in as chairman, ousting Sir Colin Chandler.A business correspondent at The Times, Patrick Hosking, pointed out on Saturday that although the dispute is embarrassing to the company, it’s understandable. “It is precisely the difficult question of how robustly to respond to deteriorating economic conditions that should be provoking lively debate in boardrooms up and down the country,” he said.EasyJet is set to release its annual results tomorrow, and although they are expected to be strong, this very public dialogue could have a significant impact on the company’s share prices. As Hosking also wrote on Saturday, EasyJet is likely to experience some turbulence as a result of this debacle. Stelios' only option now is to hold on – tight.

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