EasyJet Shares Drop 6% as CEO Announces Departure

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EasyJet witnessed a 6% fall in share price following the announcement that CEO Johan Lundgren will be stepping down. Lundgren, who has led the airline for seven years, will depart in early 2025. Kenton Jarvis, EasyJet’s current Chief Financial Officer, who joined the company in 2021, will succeed him as CEO.

The announcement led to a sharp decline in EasyJet’s share price, erasing much of the gains made earlier this year as investors reacted to the leadership change.

In its latest financial report, EasyJet revealed a reduction in first-half losses. The headline pre-tax loss for the six months ending March 31 narrowed to £350 million from £411 million in the same period last year. However, the company also noted a 17% increase in headline costs, driven by rising jet fuel prices and continued investments in its holiday business. Despite these challenges, the holiday segment saw a 40% year-on-year increase in passenger numbers.

“EasyJet’s targeted growth and focus on productivity have delivered a reduction in winter losses, bolstered by our trusted brand and network investments,” said Lundgren in a statement. “We are now absolutely focused on achieving another record summer, which is expected to deliver strong full-year earnings growth and are on track to meet our medium-term targets.”

Lundgren’s departure marks a significant shift for EasyJet, as he has been pivotal in steering the airline through challenging times, including the COVID-19 pandemic. His successor, Kenton Jarvis, brings a strong financial background to the role, which investors will be closely monitoring as the transition approaches.