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Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou:
Official Biography

Updated 12 June 2018

Stelios is best known for creating easyJet in 1995 when he was just 28 years old: This pan-European low cost airline has revolutionised European air travel over the last two decades and now flies over 85 million passengers annually. In 2000 Stelios floated easyJet on the London Stock Exchange in order to fund future fleet growth but he and his family have always remained the largest shareholders owning about one third of the shares. As easyJet PLC became one of the biggest UK companies by market value (now part of the FTSE100 with a market cap of c. £7bn), Stelios successfully campaigned to set a new dividend policy that now distributes half of annual profits by way of dividends to all shareholders.

The easy family of brands (easy.com):

A strategic decision made during the easyJet flotation meant that ownership of the 'easy' brand, (including easyJet.) is retained in Stelios' private investment vehicle, easyGroup, based in Monaco and London. As a result easyGroup now enjoys a steady and predictable income from licensing the easy brand to many businesses, including the airline, in return for a royalty fee based on turnover. The easy brand has been extended and licensed to many other sectors - all dedicated to offering consumers more value for less. These include: easyHotel, which was also floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, easyBus, easyCar, easyProperty, easyOffice , easyFoodstore, easyCoffee, easyGym, easyStorage, with many more in the pipeline, all of which contribute to easyGroup's royalty income stream. Stelios continues to take a personal interest in looking for carefully selected business partners with whom to extend the easy brand to more sectors.

Charity work:

Stelios started giving back to society more than 10 years ago and now runs the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation which takes up about a third of his time. The mission statement of his Foundation is to support philanthropic activities primarily where he has lived and worked: UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. As a notable example, the Foundation is operating a programme in Greece and Cyprus called "Food from the heart". This innovative project offers, each working day and without discrimination, snacks to the needy registering at various distribution points. More than 200,000 people receive food from Stelios' Foundation each month and more than 15 million snacks have been handed out to people in need over the last 5 years. For more details see the Stelios.org Mission Statement. In May 2017 Stelios signed the Giving Pledge committing to endow his foundation with half his estate. This initiative was started by notable philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet and now has about 170 members worldwide.

Family background:

Stelios, was born in Athens on 14 February 1967,the son of the late Loucas Haji-Ioannou, a self-made Greek-Cypriot shipping magnate. Stelios started his business career working for his father's shipping company in Athens until aged 25 when he founded his first own shipping venture, Stelmar tankers. Stelios floated Stelmar on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001 and subsequently sold it to a rival in 2005 for about US$1.3bn.


In 2006, at the age of 39, Stelios received a knighthood from HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to entrepreneurship. Since 2009 he has been the Honorary General Consul for the Republic of Cyprus in the Principality of Monaco - where he lives. He is a graduate of the London School of Economics and has a masters degree from the City University in London. Moreover he has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees from City University, as well as from Grandfield, Liverpool John Moores, and Northumbria (Newcastle) Universities in the UK.