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Stelios Haji-Ioannou

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Stelios Haji-Ioannou's Social Links

Profile

Stelios Haji-loannoo has entrepreneurship in his blood. He was born in 1967, into a Greek family known for their business in shipping. He was raised in Athens, and following high school graduation he attended the London School of Economics and Cass Business School. This formal education prepared him for his first startup.

Stelios first start-up was known as Stelmar Tankers, a shipping line. Stelio’s father funded this new project. Thirteen years after its creation, in 2001, Stelios sold Stelmar Tankers for over one hundred million dollars—more than four times its initial value. Aside from this startup, Stelios is most remarked for the founding the easyJet.

Only twenty-eight years old at the beginning of easyJet, Stelios quickly rose to the top. Stelios attributes this success to luck and good timing, but a strong sense of entrepreneurship would be key to spot this opportune business moment. Stelios and his family are the largest shareholders in the company, with 37% of the shares. Stelios, founder of easyJet, acts as the chairman of the company before stepping down in 2002 to pursue other “easy” endeavors. In 2005 he returns to the board of easy jet, acting as the non-executive director and naming Carolyn McCall as the new CEO in 2010.

Aside from easyJet, Stelios also founded the organization EasyGroup in 2002. EasyGroup is Stelio’s private investment company and has resulted in other easy brands including: easyBus, easyHotel, easyCar, easyOffice and easyGym. EasyGroup, working out of Monaco and London continues to grow.

With this continued increase in success, Stelios has taken the opportunity to pursue philanthropy. Founding the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, Stelios is able to help society. He gives back to the community by providing scholarship funds for education, entrepreneurship and the environment.

Companies and Investments

EasyJet (non-executive director, chairman, founder), EasyGroup (founder), Stelmar Tankers (founder), Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (founder)

Lessons Learned

Stelios learned the importance of making decisions from the standpoint of a shareholder, rather than that of the consumer. Stelios acknowledges that EasyJet has too many planes, and if he had to do it over again, they would have only have as many planes as needed, no more. The idea would be to maximize profits and minimize overhead, flying those few planes as often as possible with as many people as possible. Although this is not ideal to flyers, Stelios is a businessman and this is the best business model for a budget airline.

Inspiring Quotes

The time to go into a new business is when it’s badly run by others.

Richard Branson

Stelios Haji-Ioannou's Quotes

There comes a time in the life of an entrepreneur when one has to start Giving Back to society. In a way its almost like repaying a debt to society whose members bought the products and services in the first place and thus created the wealth.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

If you want a quote, I was just lucky with easyJet.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

I cannot think of a situation where easyJet goes bankrupt, if that is what you are asking. I think that would be the unthinkable. In that respect I am irrational. Remember, risk and reward is asymmetrical. You have upside and it is fine and you have downside and suddenly it is game over. And I cant tolerate a game-over scenario here.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

I can be rational about it - I am just trying to weigh up the risk and reward.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

When I opened the worlds largest internet cafe, certified by the Guinness book of records in Times Square in New York, I was live on Good Morning America, and for me that was an achievement.

Stelios Haji-Ioannou

Influential Books

Mentors

Prince Albert II, Richard Branson, Eleni Natsi

References


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