Barbara Cassani

Barbara Cassani

An American who has lived in London for much of the last 18 years, Barbara has spent most 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 made a profit within 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 was named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year and was voted Entrepreneur of the Year among the readers of a top UK broadsheet.



Following this, Barbara was asked to be Chairman of London's Olympic Bid which she successfully guided through the first bid stage before handing over to Lord Coe. Barbara is now a vice chairman to the bid and a passionate supporter.

Go was started-up with a £25m investment by British Airways. It made a profit within three 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 was named Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year and was voted Entrepreneur of the Year among the readers of a top UK broadsheet.

Following this, Barbara was asked to be Chairman of London's Olympic Bid which she successfully guided through the first bid stage before handing over to Lord Coe.

She has long enjoyed participating in sport and 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 endeavour across the board.

Barbara is married to a Briton and has two children.

In 2003 she released a best selling book entitled "Go - An Airline Adventure" that recalled her time at Go. The book was voted the WH Smith Best Business Book by readers in 2004.

She is in demand around the world as a lively and engaging speaker on leadership and start-ups - drawing upon her experiences in the airline sector and at the Olympic bid.