EasyJet Plc founder Stelios Haji Ioannou said proxy adviser Glass Lewis & Co. backs his campaign to rein in executive pay at Europe’s second-largest discount airline.
Executives should stop using EasyJet as a “personal piggybank,” he said in a statement today released by his EasyGroup Holdings Ltd. Stelios, who prefers to be known by his first name, has been in dispute with management for more than three years, after calling for slower growth in 2008.
“The directors must now stop using this ‘heads I win, tails you lose’ calculation for their bonuses,” Stelios said in the statement.
Stelios, 44, controls about 38 percent of Luton, U.K.-based EasyJet’s stock. He stepped down from its board in May 2010.
EasyJet fell 2.2 percent to 461.5 pence today in London. The shares have gained 17 percent in the past 12 months.
Glass Lewis, an independent research company that advises investors on how to vote at company meetings, said in a report published yesterday that it had “strong reservations” about supporting EasyJet’s incentive plan because it relied on a single metric to determine compensation.
The company is “confident that EasyJet’s board will have the endorsement of shareholders” at its annual meeting, Paul Moore, a spokesman for the airline, said by telephone.
The meeting is scheduled for Feb. 23.