Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is a British entrepreneur of Greek Cypriot origin. He comes from a ship owning family but became widely known for founding EasyJet in 1995, one of the most successful and profitable low-cost airliners and the beginning of a series of ventures under the Easy brand.
Haji-Ioannou, is the second of the three children of Loucas and Nedi Haji-Ioannou. He was born in Athens, Greece. His father's side originates from the Pedoulas village in the mountains of Cyprus, while his mother is from the Potsos family of Laneia village, outside the city of Limassol. After finishing school in Athens, he received his BSc in Economics at the London School of Economics and followed that up with an MSc in Shipping, Trade & Finance from the Cass Business School at City University, London. Haji-Ioannou started working in 1988 for his father's already successful shipping business, the Troodos Shipping Co Ltd. In 2001, his father gave him 30 million pounds that he used to set up his own shipping company, Stelmar Shipping. In 2005, Stelmar Shipping was sold to the OSG Group a rival company for roughly $1.3 billion.
Haji-Ioannou started EasyJet PLC when he was 28 being to date its major shareholder. The group today comprises several easy-branded businesses - all dedicated to offering consumers more value for less, like EasyMoney, Easycar, Easybus amongs others. Nowadays, acting through his private investment vehicle, the EasyGroup, which owns the 'Easy' brand and licenses it to the various 'Easy'-branded ventures, including the airline, Stelios continues to extend the brand. The Haji-Ioannou philanthropic foundation supports education by offering scholarships, as well as environmental and entrepreneurial initiatives He received at the age of 39 a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to entrepreneurship and was nominated the Honorary General Consul for the Republic of Cyprus in the Principality of Monaco.