Richard Branson is Founder of the Virgin Group. 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.
Having started Virgin as a mail-order record retailer in 1970, Richard founded Virgin Records. After the first Virgin artist, Mike Oldfield, released ‘Tubular Bells’, Virgin Records went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones. There are now more than 40 Virgin companies worldwide in over 35 countries.
Richard has challenged himself with many record-breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of oceanic balloon journeys and kitesurfing across the Channel. He has described Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, as being “the greatest adventure of all”. Richard has nearly 40 million followers on social media and blogs regularly on issues ranging from entrepreneurship to the environment and adventure to purpose.
Richard has been involved in a number of world record-breaking attempts since 1985. In 1986 his boat, “Virgin Atlantic Challenger II,” crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest ever recorded time. This was followed a year later by a hot air balloon crossing of the same ocean in “Virgin Atlantic Flyer.” In 2004, Richard launched Virgin Unite to tackle tough challenges facing the world. Richard pledged 100% of profits of Virgin transportation companies to clean tech investments, and this year he launched the Carbon War Room to mobilize capital, innovation, expertise and entrepreneurs to advance climate change efforts.
A leader in product innovation and customer service, he was knighted in 1998 for his “services to entrepreneurship.”
Branson is the author of several books including Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way and Reach for the Skies: Ballooning, Birdmen, and Blasting into Space.