Mr. Petros Pappas serves since July 2014 as our CEO and as a director on our board of directors. Mr. Pappas served from our inception up to July 2014 as our non-executive Chairman of the board of directors and director. He served as a member of Star Maritime’s board of directors since its inception. Throughout his career as a principal and manager in the shipping industry, Mr. Pappas has been involved in approximately 300 vessel acquisitions and disposals. In 1989, he founded Oceanbulk Maritime S.A., a dry cargo shipping company that has operated managed vessels aggregating as much as 1.6 million deadweight tons of cargo capacity. He also founded Oceanbulk affiliated companies, which are involved in the ownership and management sectors of the shipping industry. Mr. Pappas serves on the Board of Directors of the UK Defense Club, a leading insurance provider of legal defense services in the shipping industry worldwide and is a member of the Union of Greek Ship Owners (UGS). Mr. Pappas received his B.A. in Economics and his MBA from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Mr. Pappas was awarded the 2014 Lloyd’s List Greek Awards “Shipping Personality of the Year”.
Hamish Norton is president of Star Bulk Carriers Corp. Until Dec. 31, 2012, he was Managing Director and Global Head of the Maritime group at Jefferies & Company Inc. He is known for creating Nordic American Tanker Shipping and Knightsbridge Tankers, the first two high dividend yield shipping companies. He advised Arlington Tankers in the merger with General Maritime and has been an advisor to U.S. Shipping Partners. He also advised New Mountain Capital on its investment in Intermarine. In the 1990s, he advised Frontline on the acquisition of London and Overseas Freighters and arranged the sale of Pacific Basin Bulk Shipping. Prior to joining Jefferies in 2007, Mr. Norton ran the shipping practice at Bear Stearns since 2000. From 1984 -1999 he worked at Lazard Frères & Co., from 1995 onward as general partner and head of shipping. Mr. Norton is a director of Neptune Lines and the Safariland Group. Mr. Norton received an AB in Physics from Harvard and a Ph. D. in Physics from University of Chicago.
Christos Begleris joined Star Bulk as Co-Chief Financial Officer in 2014. Until March 2013, he was a strategic project manager and senior finance executive at Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Begleris worked in the principal investments group of London & Regional Properties based in London, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of large real estate acquisition projects throughout Europe. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Begleris worked in the Fixed Income and Corporate Finance groups of Lehman Brothers based in London, where he was involved in privatization, restructuring, securitization, acquisition financing and principal investment projects in excess of $5.0 billion. In addition to his role at Star Bulk, Mr. Begleris is also an executive of Oceanbulk Maritime S.A. and is Co-Chief Financial Officer of Oceanbulk’s joint ventures with Oaktree Distress Opportunities Funds. Mr. Begleris received an M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr. Simos Spyrou joined Star Bulk Carriers Corp. as Deputy Chief Financial Officer in 2011. From 1997 to 2011, Mr. Spyrou worked at the Hellenic Exchanges (HELEX) Group, the public company which operates the Greek equities and derivatives exchange, the clearing house and the central securities depository. From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Spyrou held the position of Director of Strategic Planning, Communication and Investor Relations at the Hellenic Exchanges Group and he also served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee of its Board of Directors. From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Spyrou was responsible for financial analysis at the research and technology arm of the Hellenic Exchanges Group. Mr. Spyrou attended the University of Oxford, receiving a degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Engineering, Economics & Management, specializing in finance. Following the completion of his studies at Oxford, he obtained a post graduate degree in Banking and Finance, from Athens University of Economics & Business.
Charis Plakantonaki joined Star Bulk in 2015 as Head of Strategic Planning and in 2017 she assumed the position of Chief Strategy Officer. From 2008 to 2015 she worked at Thenamaris (Ships Management) Inc., for the first five years as Strategic Projects Manager and subsequently as Head of Corporate Communications. Prior to joining Thenamaris she was a Senior Consultant at the Boston Consulting Group where she managed strategy development projects for multinational companies across different industries. Mrs. Plakantonaki received a B.S. in International & European Economics & Politics from the University of Macedonia, where she graduated as valedictorian, and an MBA from INSEAD. She serves on the Board of the Liberian Shipowners' Council and on the Executive Committee of the Clean Shipping Alliance as Vice Chair. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Anatolia College, on the Advisory Board of the Blue Growth initiative and on the Advisory Board of Seafair.
Zenon Kleopas is the Executive Vice President - Green Energy & Technology of Star Bulk. He was actively involved in the acquisition of Star Bulk's fleet in 2007 and 2008. He has extensive experience in ship operations and supervising ship management through his continuous employment in Shipping Companies in the U.K. and Greece since 1980. Mr. Kleopas has worked for various shipping companies namely Victoria Steamship Co Ltd (London), Marship Corporation, Astron Maritime SA, Combine Marine Inc and Oceanbulk Maritime SA. Before joining Star Bulk Mr. Kleopas was the general manager of Combine Marine Inc and the managing director Oceanbulk Maritime SA. Mr. Kleopas received a B.Sc. degree in 1978 and a M.Sc. degree in 1980 from Glasgow University, in Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering. He is a member of the Technical Chamber of Greece, the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (UK), the Marine Technical Managers' Association of Greece and the Hellenic Technical Committee of classification societies Bureau Veritas and RINA.
Mr. Billung joined Star Bulk in 2018 as Senior Vice President and holds also the position of General Manager in Star Bulk Norway AS. Prior to joining Star Bulk , he was CEO of Songa Bulk ASA since 2016, and between 2005 and 2016 he was the CEO of Golden Ocean. From 1998 to 2005 he held the position of Managing Director of Maritime Services, responsible for the commercial management of the Torvald Klaveness Group’s dry bulk pools, Bulkhandling and Baumarine. Between 1994 and 1998 he was Managing Director of the dry bulk operating company Frapaco Shipping Ltd. and from 1989 until 1994 he held various positions within chartering in the Torvald Klaveness Group. Mr. Billung was with the Royal Norwegian Navy from 1978 to 1989. He is a Norwegian citizen and resides in Oslo, Norway.