Stelios Haji-Ioannou – a history

Who is he? Where did he come from? What does he do?

Born in Athens, Greece on the 14th of February , 1967, the middle son of Loucas and Nedi, both of Cypriot origin. Stelios has an older brother , Polys and a younger sister, Clelia. Both are shareholders in Stelmar Tankers and easyJet. Stelios was raised in Athens, where he attended Greek High School (Doucas School) and, at the same time, took two A-levels in Maths and Economics.

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 shipowners and Cyprus based Business people who believe in sustainable development.

In 1992 he founded his first venture, Stelmar Tankers, in the shipping industry. Stelmar has a fleet of 36 tankers that are either in operation or on order. The company listed on the New York stock exchange in March 2001 (NYSE:SJH). 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. The company was listed on the London stock exchange (LSE:EZJ) in November 2000.

In 1998 he formed the easyGroup, a holding company to explore new ventures to extend the “easy” brand and capitalise upon the expanding use of the Internet.

The first such venture, easyInternetcafé, the chain of the world’s largest Internet cafes and the cheapest way to get online, started trading in June 1999 and currently has twenty one cyber cafes across Europe and one in New York.easyCar, a car rental service that sells 95% online, started trading in April 2000 and is also rapidly expanding across Europe.easyValue.com, impartial comparisons for online shopping, started trading in November 2000, the same month as the launch of easy.com, a free web-based email service.

easyMoney, online financial services, launched with the world’s first dynamically personalised credit card in September 2001. The easyGroup continues to undertake feasibility studies with a view to entering new industries. Both easyCinema and easyDorm are currently being reviewed.

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