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Barbara Cassani is best known for founding the low cost airline Go and for spearheading the London Olympic bid.
Barbara Cassani has spent much of her career in the airline industry; first as a manager at British Airways and from 1997 to 2002 as Founder and CEO of budget airline Go. Go was started-up with a £25m investment by British Airways. It was profitable in less than 3 years and Barbara headed a £110m management buyout, backed by 3i. A year later the company was sold to easyJet for £374m.
In 2002, Barbara Cassani was named Veuve Clicquot UK Business Woman of the Year and was voted UK Entrepreneur of the Year among the readers of the Daily and Sunday Telegraphs.
In June 2004, Barbara was asked to be Chairman of London's Olympic Bid which she built from scratch and oversaw the bid winning finalist status before handing over to Lord Coe. Barbara is now a vice chairman to the bid and a passionate supporter.
She has long enjoyed participating in sport. She owns two three day eventing horses that are competing in the UK at the highest levels. She competes herself at a lower level and supports sporting endeavor across the board.
In 2003 Barbara Cassani released a best selling book, "Go – An Airline Adventure" that recalled her experiences from the start-up of the airline through to the reluctant sale to easyJet. The book was voted the WH Smith Best Business Book by readers in 2004.
She is in demand as a lively and engaging speaker on leadership and start-ups – drawing upon her experiences in the airline sector and at the Olympic bid.