British no-frills airline easyJet said Wednesday it has appointed John Barton, chairman of clothing retailer Next, as its new chairman from the start of May. "John Barton is to join the easyJet board as a non-executive director and will take over from Sir Mike Rake as the company's non-executive chairman," the group said in a statement. "Sir Mike will stand down from the board on the same date." Barton, 68, is also chairman of British clothing retailer Next plc and insurance firm Catlin Group Limited. An easyJet spokesman told AFP that he would continue his roles at both of those companies. Earlier this year, Rake decided to step down after a long battle with the company's founder and largest shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou. Haji-Ioannou had made several attempts to oust the chairman following disputes over executive bonuses and plans to order new planes.