Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou CV
Updated 9th March 2017
Stelios is best known for creating easyJet in 1995 when he was just 28 years old. This pan-European low cost airline, headquartered in London, has revolutionised European air travel over the last two decades and it is now flying over 75 million passengers per year across 31 countries with a fleet of more than 260 aircraft. In 2000 Stelios floated easyJet on the London Stock Exchange in order to fund growth but he and his family have always remained the largest shareholders with a c 33% stake. As easyJet PLC became one of the biggest UK companies by market value, Stelios successfully campaigned to set a dividend policy that now distributes half of annual profits by way of dividends to all shareholders. For more information see www.easyJet.com.
The easy business
Another strategic decision made during the IPO process was that Stelios decided to retain ownership of the ‘easy‘ brand, (including easyJet) in his 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 based on their turnover (not profits). 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, easyVan, easyProperty, easyOffice, easyFoodstore,
easyCoffee, easyGym and many many more, all of which contribute to easyGroup‘s royalty income stream. Stelios continues to look for carefully selected partners with whom to extend the brand further. With every additional business brand partner , each further business activity and new geographical market into which the easy mark is extended, the equity in the easy brand is strengthened. easyGroup now owns more than 1000 registered trademarks within the easy family of brands all over the world and takes its protection from unauthorised use very seriously. For more information see www.easy.com.
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 in places where the founder has lived and worked : the UK, Greece, Cyprus and Monaco. The Foundation gives support in four main ways : scholarships, supporting entrepreneurship with cash prizes, donating money to environmental and other charities in the areas of focus and operating a programme in Greece and Cyprus called “Food from the heart”. This innovative project offers, each working day, without discrimination, snacks to people in need who register at the various distribution points. This is a cost effective way to help a large number of people in extreme poverty by giving them enough food to live another day, on a regular basis. So far more than 50,000 people have registered to receive “Food from the heart” and currently about 25,000 snacks are distributed per day. Another noteworthy project over the last 9 years is offering cash awards to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who cooperate on the island of Cyprus in order to promote lasting peace on this divided island. For more information see www.stelios.org
Stelios, born in Athens, Greece on the 14th of February 1967, is the second son of Loucas Haji-Ioannou ( deceased in 2008) and his wife Nedi (nee Missirlis). Stelios has an older brother Polys and a younger sister Clelia. Loucas was a self-made shipping magnate born in Cyprus. Stelios started his career working for his father’s shipping company until the age of 25 when he created his first own venture Stelmar Shipping based in Athens. Stelmar was floated on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001 and subsequently sold to a rival in 2005 for four times the initial share price at about US$1.3bn. That was the last time Stelios had an active role in shipping, parting with the family tradition that has many other Haji-Ioannou family members actively involved in that activity.
As Stelios now lives between the Principality of Monaco and the island of St Barthelemy (aka St Barts) in the French Caribbean, he has invested over the last decade in a substantial real estate portfolio in these two locations. Most of these properties are rented out to produce a steady return.
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 was awarded four honorary doctorate degrees from City University, as well as from Grandfield, Liverpool John Moores, and Northumbria (Newcastle) Universities in the UK.
Stelios enjoys sailing and he owns two classic sailing yachts, one based in Monaco and the other in St Barts . He is an active member of the Monaco Yacht Club and in 2016 he created the Gustavia Yacht Club in St Barts, a not for profit association of members, and he is the first Commodore of the Club.