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Next chairman Barton takes easyJet chair as Rake leaves

EASYJET has appointed John Barton as chairman after the departure of Sir Mike Rake from the board.

Barton, who is also chairman at high street clothing retailer Next and international insurance underwriters Catlin Group, is a chartered accountant and held various roles at JIB Group, culminating in the chief executive post between 1984 and 1997.

After its merger with Jardine Lloyd Thompson in 1997, he was made chairman of the combined group before joining Next in 2002 as deputy chairman, becoming chairman in 2006. He has also been chairman of Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Wellington Underwriting and Brit Insurance Holdings.

Ex-KPMG chairman Rake (pictured) is to assume the presidency of the Confederation of British Industry, replacing the outgoing Roger Carr. His time at easyJet was turbulent, facing intense criticism from easyJet founder and major shareholder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou for holding roles at other businesses.

Sir Mike said: “It has been a great experience to chair easyJet for the last three years and most particularly to see the strong management team and board in place, implementing a strategy that is clearly working.

Barton added: “easyJet has clearly established itself as one of Europe’s leading airlines and one of Britain’s most successful and dynamic companies. My aim will be to ensure that the management team of easyJet can continue to deliver profitable growth and market leading returns. I look forward to working with easyJet’s people.”

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