Easy Jet Founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou Joins The Hellenic Initiative Board

2024 04 03 Sir Stelios the hellenic initiative v2

NEW YORK – Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, creator and owner of the ‘easy family’ of brands starting with easyJet in 1994 when he was just 27 years old, has joined the Board of Directors of The Hellenic Initiative (THI). He was knighted by HM Queen Elizabeth II for “services to entrepreneurship” in 2006. He is also founder and President of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, which supports a diverse range of good causes close to home in the countries where he lived and worked including Greece and Cyprus. Sir Stelios signed The Giving Pledge (led by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffet) in 2017 pledging to give half his fortune to his charitable foundation to continue the good work in perpetuity.

Founded in 2012, THI is a global non-profit organization that brings together Diaspora Greeks and Philhellenes to invest in Greece through programs focused on economic development and crisis relief. Since its founding, THI has invested more than $22 million in Greece and has grown to be the largest Greek Diaspora organization in the world.

Sir Stelios is using the recurring royalty income from the ‘easy’ family of brands which is collected by his for-profit company easyGroup Ltd to donate the majority of its profit to the UK registered charity Stelios Philanthropic Foundation which does important charitable work. The flagship charitable program in Greece is the ‘Food from the Heart’ initiative which distributes daily free snacks to anyone in need and serves approximately 100,000 beneficiaries per month. In 2023, in the heart of Athens, the Stelios Foundation acquired and restored a historic property on 22 Kydathineon street in Plaka which is functioning as a conference hall and is made available to any Greek registered charity to hold their charitable events for free.

Moreover, Sir Stelios has agreed to lead the Monaco chapter of The Hellenic Initiative where he lives and has agreed to host a charity fundraiser in Monaco on June 25 to raise funds for the THI Summer Youth Academy in Athens.

George P. Stamas, THI’s Board President, stated, “THI is always on the lookout for the most dynamic entrepreneurs and builders of iconic brands, and so we are delighted to welcome Sir Stelios to our Board.”

Andrew N. Liveris, THI’s Board Chairman, stated, “THI’s efforts, which blend economic development – with an emphasis on boosting startups and job creation – and philanthropic support, which includes helping young people receive the material and moral support needed for success, will greatly benefit from the addition of Sir Stelios to its Board.”

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