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Stelios Haji-Ioannou

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Stelios is the son of a Cypriot shipping magnate, who loaned him £5 million to start the airline venture in 1995. Today easyGroup, headquartered in London, includes easyCar, easyHotel, easyBus and more.

He was born in Athens in 1967, his father is a Greek entrepreneur who created the Troodos company, one of the largest fleets in the world. Stelios has lived in Monaco since his family moved there as a teenager.

If I had ever been afraid of the competition, I would never have opened an airline.

Stelios studied at the London School of Economics and the Cass Business School in London. He founded his shipping company Stelmar in 1992 and then the company easyJet in 1995.

He diversified his business by creating a chain of Internet cafés, a credit card company, a car rental company and a hotel chain. EasyJet went public on the London Stock Exchange in 2000, Stelmar became listed the following year in New York.

I don’t have a lot of time for leisure activities but I take my yacht out on the Mediterranean a few weekends a year.

Stelios’ personal fortune is estimated at £1.29 billion. He was knighted in 2006.

In 2017, he announced his intention to donate £2 billion to Bill Gates’ organisation, Giving Pledges.

His charity foundation, the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, supports education as well as entrepreneurial and environmental initiatives by providing funding and advice in the UK, Greece and Cyprus. It also sponsors annual cash awards to entrepreneurs in the UK, Greece and Cyprus.

  • Greek-Cypriot entrepreneur
  • 14 February 1967
  • Greece, Cyprus