Haji-Ioannou, 33, is founder and chairman of London's easyGroup. Its holdings include easyJet Airline; easyEverything, a chain of cybercafes; and a rental car company called, naturally, easy-Rentacar. All rely on the Net to keep costs low: EasyRentacar offers only one type of vehicle and requires reservations be made online. But its prices are 60% below the industry giants.
The granddaddy of the group--and only public company--is easyJet. Europe's second-largest discount carrier after Ireland's Ryanair (RYAAY
), easyJet saw sales in the first half climb 43%, to $205.4 million. But first-half losses also grew, to $14.6 million, because of higher fuel prices and slow winter traffic.ELECTRIC ORANGE. Haji-Ioannou keeps going, though. It's nearly impossible to go anywhere in urban Europe without noticing the Easy brand: Everything he touches, from Boeing engines to billboards, is painted electric orange--Pantone 021C, to be exact. Maybe someday, he jokes, it'll be renamed "Stelios Orange."
Next stop: America. The second son of a Greek shipping tycoon, Haji-Ioannou has already anchored an easyEverything cafe in New York's Times Square. This is one European who's not staying in the Old World.