When is a non-executive not a non-executive? Ask Stelios!

You may have heard of easyJet. You may have flown with easyJet. You may be Stelios, in which case the public thinks that you own easyJet, but you actually only own a minority interest. The public also thinks that you’re the CEO, but actually you’re not even an executive director.

What you do own, if you happen to be Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is approximately 66 million easyJet shares and the easyJet brand, which you licence to easyJet.

Sir Stelios is the public face of a company that he founded and grew to a state of financial health where it could buy its most bitter rival, list on the London Stock Exchange and generally grow up rather quickly.  He resigned as an executive director in 2003, becoming a non-executive.

In 2008/09, he had a major difference of opinion with the executive directors over the strategy of the company.  Having been outvoted, Sir Stelios (a non-executive director, remember) sought to increase his equity ownership of the company again to a level where he could appoint some favoured nominees of his own as executive directors; thus giving him (a non-executive director) effective control once again.

Sir Stelios was naturally acting in the best interests of the company as he saw them. The Tyson report lists four duties of a non-executive director (see our ExPress notes if these don’t trip off your tongue! /expand/14-p1_professional_accountant.html) These include scrutinising executives, but not sacking them if they disagree.

It all makes it easier to see why the UK Combined Code requires that non-executives should be paid a basic salary only and have no shares or share options in the company, as well as requiring you to wait at least five years outside the company if you’d previously been a senior executive there!

You are (probably) a liar...

Here’s a nice ethical question for you – have you lied recently? My guess is that you have. Now before you get all righteous about[..]

Don't worry, he's ok...

A few years ago if a company wanted to advertise their products they mainly used the traditional media methods of TV, radio and print. Nowadays[..]

There's a 90% chance...

There’s been a significant reduction in the use of cash during the pandemic. A lot of shops now only accept card payments so that they[..]

Start walking...

Do you sit at a desk when you’re at work? If you do, how long do you spend sat there before you get up to[..]

I never emailed you...

Sometimes it’s the simple scams that can cause the most damage. We hear all the time about ignoring scam phishing emails where fraudsters are pretending[..]

Does this help you concentrate?

The Journal of Consumer Research published the results of five experiments into how the level of background noise can impact on performance when someone is[..]