EasyJet’s Finance Chief Departs After Attemped Ousting
The Chief Financial Officer of British budget airline easyJet, Andrew Findlay, announced he has given his contractually obligated 12-month notice and will leave the company in May 2021. In the meantime, he will continue with his existing responsibilities while the airline searches for his successor.
Findlay’s departure was a “personal decision,” according to an inside source cited by the Financial Times. The news of Findlay’s impending exit follows an unsuccessful bid by the company’s founder, Stelios Haji-Ioannou, to oust Findlay and three other executives.
Findlay first joined easyJet in 2015 after a 4-year stint as the Chief Financial Officer at Halfords. He has also held senior financial positions at Marks and Spencer, the London Stock Exchange, and now-defunct telecom Cable and Wireless plc.
In a company announcement, CEO Johan Lundgren said, “As the longest standing member of the Airline Management Board, Andrew has and continues to provide solid financial steerage and guidance. This has been particularly so during recent months when he was quick to secure liquidity and deliver a significant reduction in cash burn."
Findlay stated, "Although I have given notice to leave easyJet in a year's time, I remain fully committed to the business to support Johan and to ensure easyJet successfully weathers this unprecedented time for the airline industry.”
Due to travel restrictions imposed to contain the coronavirus, easyJet grounded its entire fleet in late March 2020, but plans to resume operations in July 2020. The financial strain of the temporary shutdown has prompted Haji-Ioannou to call on the airline’s management to cancel a multi-billion dollar order for 107 new planes.