07/18/1950Place of birth :
Shamley Green (Surrey) - United KingdomCountry of residence :
United KingdomLinked companies : Virgin Media Inc.
- Virgin Mobile Holdings (UK) plc
Telephony, music, finances, trains, airplanes or space exploration, the Virgin boss dares everything. A real bulimia which finds its roots in the aversion he has for the monopolies.
At sixteen, Branson creates the newspaper Students with the help of his friend Jonathan Holland Gems. Thanks to them, this newspaper becomes the mouthpiece for a generation of hippies opposed to the Vietnam War and engaged in the struggle for abortion rights.
At twenty, Richard Branson sold records by mail. Three years later he produced "Tubullar Bells" by Mike Oldfield which will be selected for the soundtrack of the movie The Exorcist. This enormous success attracts the best artists of the moment at Virgin Records as the Sex Pistols, Culture Club or Phil Collins.
Unformatted by business schools, the British businessman uses his intuition to engage in business more and more daring. Virgin Airways, Virgin Mobile to mention only the most important, show that there are no forbidden areas for the businessman the most admired of his generation. Icon in intuitive management, Richard Branson does not forget to be surrounded by the best persons in finance world as Gordon McCallum, a reference in the business world or Stephen Murphy, his Chief Financial officer and former of Unilever.
Some adventures such as cosmetics, clothing or vodka are failures but not for the businessman. When any other contractors consider these adventures as a failure, Richard Branson believes that these under achievements humanize the company and accentuate the friendly image of the boss.
Very sensitive to environmental issues, Richard Branson is hired to fight against global warming. In 2007 he gave twenty-five million dollars to reward initiatives that will be able to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
But his most ambitious project is the conquest of space. For this, he signed a contract of fifteen million pounds with an American company for the manufacture of spacecraft and partnered with Philippe Starck for VirginGalactic. The first Virgin flight in space was planned for 2009.
In fact, like Google, Richard Branson has endorsed the principle of "don’t be a evil" (do not hurt) fighting to humanely manage a business became enormous.
In 2008, Richard Branson declares he refused to pay one million euros to a French minister who asked him in exchange the permission to open its Virgin Megastores on Sunday.
In August 2011, Richard Branson swims with three hundred whale-sharks near the coast of Cancun, in Mexico, in order to denounce the overfishing of this species.
"Business opportunities are like buses, there's always another one coming."
"Well, the odds must be against anybody being able to fly around the world in a balloon on the first attempt. All of us who are attempting to go around the world in balloons are effectively flying in experimental craft because these craft cannot be tested."
Sir Richard Branson : L'autobiographie, written by Richard Branson, preface by Patrick Zelnik, published by Scali (2006)
Du Capitalisme à l'écologie, ma petite philosophie par Richard Branson published by Scali (2008)
Mes Virginités written by Richard Branson and published by Presses de la Cité (1998)
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