Arts patron, leading businessman Odysseas Kyriakopoulos dies of cancer


Leading Greek businessman and patron of the arts Odysseas Kyriakopoulos died on Sunday, aged 70, following a battle with cancer.

Kyriakopoulos, a former president of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), studied mining engineering at the University of Leoben (Austria) and University of Newcastle upon Tyne (today's Newcastle University), and received an MBA in business management from the INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau. He assumed the management of the family company S&B, selling it to French giant IMERYS in 2014 and serving thereafter on its board of directors.

He was chairman of IMERYS Industrial Minerals Hellas SA and served as board member for the Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), Lamda Development SA, Imerys Group, ASK Chemicals GmbH, and as member of the Bank of Greece's General Council. He also served as vice president of Business Europe (UNICE), Hellenic Exchanges SA, and IOBE.

Kyriakopoulos had also been president of the NN for three years (2006-2009) but supported it for longer. He is survived by his wife, three children, and grandchildren.

Messages of condolences were issued by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who said Kyriakopoulos left "a difficult-to-replace void" in Greek economy and society, "as he combined a successful business career with an interest in the welfare of his employees, industrial tradition combined with extroverted innovation, cosmopolitanism with a quiet patriotism, and a contribution to the arts with anonymous assistance to weaker fellow human beings."

Among others, the National Opera of Greece also expressed condolences for his passing, as did Development & Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis.