Barbara Cassani is a brilliant leader with an inspirational style of management - she is in great demand around the world as a lively and engaging speaker, drawing upon her experiences in the airline sector and leading the Olympic 2012 bid. As the Executive Chairperson of Jurys Inn hotels, she continues her business strategy of growth management in the hospitality sector.
Barbara founded the low cost airline Go and fronted the successful London 2012 Olympic bid. As an expert in leadership and start-up management, Barbara is an in demand conference and keynote speaker.
After starting her career in management consulting, and working at British Airways for ten years, in 1997 Barbara became the founding CEO of the budget airline Go. Barbara turned Go from an investment start-up to a profitable airline in under 3 years. Barbara then headed a £110m management buyout and a year later Go was sold to easyJet for £374m.
Being recognised for her brilliant achievements, in 2002, Barbara was named Veuve Clicquot UK Business Woman of the Year. In the same year she was voted UK Entrepreneur of the Year among the readers of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.
The following year, Barbara was appointed Chairman of London's 2012 Olympic Bid, building the team from scratch and overseeing the bid. Her hard work culminated in London’s position as a finalist for the bid, then she served as Vice Chairman from mid-2004 until the bid was won. The Queen awarded her with a CBE for her services on the Olympic bid.
In 2003 Barbara wrote her bestselling book, Go – An Airline Adventure. Readers voted it the WH Smith Best Business Book in 2004.
In September 2007 Barbara became the new Chairman of the board at Vueling Airlines, a relatively new Spanish airline.
Barbara was appointed Executive Chairperson of Jurys Inn hotels in 2008, she continues to source out growth opportunities in business and execute leading strategy.
Her speaking topics include:
- Business and growth management
- Leadership and change
- The airline industry
- Sourcing out success in start-ups