Sir Richard Branson
Virgin is one of the world’s most irresistible brands and has expanded into many diverse sectors from travel to telecommunications, health to banking and music to leisure. There are now more than 60 Virgin companies worldwide, employing approximately 71,000 people in 35 countries. Having started Virgin as a mail order record retailer in 1970, Richard founded Virgin Records and opened a record shop on Oxford Street, London. After building a recording studio, The Manor, the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, recorded and released ‘Tubular Bells’. Virgin Records went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones, becoming the biggest independent label in the world.
Since Richard Branson founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984, it has established itself as a leading global airline after overcoming BA’s Dirty Tricks campaign. Virgin Australia, Virgin America, Virgin Holidays, Virgin Limited Edition, Virgin Trains, Virgin Hotels and Virgin Galactic have followed in travel, while expansion elsewhere has seen Richard become the only person to build 12 billion dollar companies in eight different sectors.