Barbara Cassani is best known for founding the low cost airline Go and for spearheading the London Olympic bid. Since 2008 she has been Executive Chairman of Jurys Inns, the fast growing Irish hotel group.
Barbara started her career in management consulting then held a variety of strategic and general management roles at British Airways. The low cost airline, Go, was started up from scratch in 1997 with £25m as an internal start-up at British Airways and became profitable in less than three years. In 2001, Barbara and her colleagues led a management buy-out for £110m. In 2002, Go was sold to easyJet for £374m. Go was known for its low prices, good service and great people winning the UK's top travel consumer awards. She was named UK Businesswoman of the Year and co-authored the book Go: An Airline Adventure.
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 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. In 2007 Barbara became the Chairman of the board at Vueling Airlines, a three year old airline based in Barcelona.
In 2003 she published 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 WH Smith Best Business Book by readers in 2004.
Barbara established the successful London 2012 Olympic Bid as Chairman then Vice-Chairman. She hired the winning team, created the blueprint for the Games and developed UK public support. She was awarded an honorary CBE (Commander of the British Empire) from the British government.
Barbara is a regular speaker and commentator on leadership and managing change in the UK. She is known for her straight-talking approach to leadership that keeps the focus on clear objectives and building teams.