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Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Entrepreneur, Founder of EasyGroup

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Biography

Chairman & Founder, EasyGroup - dubbed the "Serial Entrepreneur" - Stelios is the founder of the easyGroup of companies. At 37, he has already created 16 companies, the biggest of which is easyJet, the leading low cost airline. Launched in 1995 easyJet PLC listed on the London stock exchange in 2000. The average market capitalisation of easyJet during its last reported financial year (FY03) was approximately GBP 1 billion. Stelios is still the largest single shareholder with 18% of the stock. In total his family still own just over 40% of the company. Although not easy branded, Stelios founded another publicly traded company, Stelmar Tankers, which listed on the NYSE in 2001 and his family still own 20% of the stock.

Stelios founded his first venture, Stelmar Tankers, in 1992 which was in the shipping industry. Stelmar has a fleet of 41 tankers that are either in operation or on order. In 1995 he founded easyJet, a low-cost, "no frills", point to point airline that is taking advantage of the deregulation of the European airline industry.

In 1998 Stelios formed the easyGroup, a holding company to explore new ventures to extend the "Easy" brand and capitalise upon the expanding use of the Internet. All the companies described below are currently entirely or majority privately owned by Stelios. He is chairman of each one and remains very active in their day-to-day running.

The first such venture, easyInternetcafe, is the cheapest way to get online and started trading in June 1999. It has a growing number of Internet cafes across Europe and the New York area. easyCar, a car rental service that sells 95% online, started trading in April 2000 and is well established across Europe. Both easyInternetcafe and easyCar are currently growing through franchising their businesses. easyValue.com, impartial comparisons for online shopping, started trading in November 2000, the same month as the launch of the portal for all easyGroup companies www.easy.com which also offers a free web-based email service.

easyMoney, online financial services, launched with the world’s first dynamically personalised credit card in September 2001 and easyCinema, low cost movie theatres, launched in May 2003.

easyBus, low cost intercity travel, launched in August 2004 and the easyGroup continues to prepare other companies for launch including: easyMobile, easyPizza, easyMusic, easy4men, easyHotel and easyCruise.

In 1984 he moved to London to study at the London School of Economics, and he graduated in 1987 with a Bsc in Economics. The next year, 1988, he also graduated from the City University Business School with an Msc in Shipping Trade and Finance. After graduation he joined his father’s shipping company, Troodos shipping. In January ’92 he became the founding chairman of CYMEPA, the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association. This is a non-profit making association of ship owners and Cyprus based Business people who believe in sustainable development.

In 2004 Stelios has been invited to speak at Forbes CEO Europe Forum, International Hotel & Restaurant Association Congress, European Travel Commission, New York, Chartered Institute of Marketing, The Asia Leadership Series for Bloomberg, World Economic Forum China Summit, Foreign Press Association to name just a few.

Stelios is an inspiring and unique keynote speaker.

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