Businessman and Sports Club Owner Thanassis Giannakopoulos Dies at 88


Thanassis Giannakopoulos. File photo

Greek businessman and former sports club owner Thanassis Giannakopoulos died on Tuesday morning at the age of 88.

Giannakopoulos had been hospitalized recently in a private hospital, following a stroke.

Giannakopoulos and his brother Pavlos were the owners of the giant pharmaceutical corporation VIANEX, which was founded in 1924 by their father, Dimitrios Giannakopoulos.

Nearly a century after its foundation, VIANEX is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Greece and even in Europe, with hundreds of millions of euros in net sales every year.

Thanassis Giannakopoulos became widely known from his passion for sports and especially, the Athenian Panathinaikos club.

Thanassis and his brother Pavlos managed the Panathinaikos basketball and volleyball teams in addition to all the Panathinaikos club’s amateur sports sections from 1987 until 2012.

Their oversight included all teams, beginning with the athletics department all the way up to the water polo team.

During their years of management, Panathinaikos Basketball Club became one of Europe’s most successful basketball teams, with the club winning  both the national and the European championships (EuroLeague) numerous times.

In 2011, Thanassis won the ”EuroLeague Club Executive of the Year Award” along with his brother Pavlos, for their contributions to European basketball.

The following year, Thanassis’ the nephew, Dimitrios Giannakopoulos, took over control of Panathinaikos Basketball Club.