Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou:
Updated 27 April 2021
Stelios is best known for creating the easy family of brands starting with easyJet in 1994 when he was just 27. Six years later he floated the airline on the www.londonstockexchange.com in order to fund growth but he and his family remain the largest shareholders holding about 26% of the shares. The stock market currently values easyJet PLC at about £4.7 billion. When the COVID Pandemic struck the airline was carrying about 100 million passengers per year but the numbers are now substantially reduced..
The easy family of brands
Stelios started giving back to society when he turned 40 years old and has since formalised his charitable giving by creating the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.org) , which now takes up about a third of his time. Its mission statement is to support a diverse range of charitable activities principally in the countries where he has lived and worked: UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. The most notable program is “Food from the heart” that in normal times (pre-COVID) feeds 200,000 people with a snack each month in Greece and Cyprus since 2013. https://steliosfoundation.gr/faghto-apo-kardias. In addition since 2008 the Foundation’s bi-communal awards programme in Cyprus gives €500,000 annually to Greek and Turkish Cypriots, who work together for a lasting peace on the island https://steliosfoundation.com.cy/peace-cyprus-bicommunal-awards/. Sadly, this program is paused because of COVID but the Foundation has given to many pandemic related causes that include thank you gifts in the form of shop vouchers to front line nurses and carers. Other good causes are supported with regular donations. Environmental charity wwf.org is a major beneficiary in partnership with HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco’s own foundation. (fpa2.org). In May 2017 Stelios signed the Giving Pledge (https://givingpledge.org/Pledger.aspx?id=334 ) committing to endow his Foundation with half his estate in order to become the perpetual vehicle for his legacy. This initiative was started in 2010 by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet.
Family business background:
Stelmar Shipping was Stelios' first company which successfully floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.