“I enjoyed it because it provided a very different view of what makes people behave in a particular way.... more economics than management but here it is.”
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou Who?
Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou (41), who prefers to be called just by his first name is best known for creating easyJet PLC when he was 28. Stelios is often credited as the pioneer who changed the European aviation scene for the benefit of millions of consumers. easyJet is Europe's leading low-fares airline, and in September 08 it is operating 165 aircraft on 400 routes between 103 airports in 26 countries. easyJet carried over 44.5 million passengers in the past 12 months. The airline was partially floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000 but Stelios remains the largest single shareholder and a member of its board of directors. A serial entrepreneur, Stelios has established more than 17 ventures, the first of which was Stelmar Shipping at the age of 25 , a company which he floated on the NYSE in 2001 and he sold in 2005. Stelios separately owns easyGroup IP licensing Ltd , the company that owns the “easy” brand and licenses it to the airline but also to other companies. An up-to-date list of the easyGroup licensees can be found on the portal site www.easy.com and includes easyCar, easyHotel, easyBus. easyOffice, easyPizza and easyCruise. In November 2006, at the age of 39, Stelios received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to entrepreneurship. On the giving-back front, Stelios is active in supporting education, encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting environmentally sustainable development strategies. First amongst various philanthropic projects he has started is the environmental charity www.cymepa.org in Cyprus in 1992. On education he has pledged 200 scholarships over 10 years to his alma mater (the LSE and the City University). In 2007 he created the “disabled entrepreneur of the year award” in the UK in partnership with the disability charity “Leonard Cheshire” (see www.lcdisability.org/stelios)
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