Richard Branson, Britain's 15th richest man and one of the most prominent businessmen, was voted the country's leading role model among young people. He is full of paradoxes: he is a notorious self-publicist who claims to be fiercely shy, a brilliant motivator of others who wore odd socks on the day of the launch of his airline, and a billionaire who borrows fivers without hesitation from friends and employees. And yet nobody knows what has made Branson so successgul: despite his reputation as a financial wizard, he runs a business more conspicuous for its size than its profits. Millions of pounds have been lost on such projects as "Events" listings magazine, the film "Absolute Beginners" and Virgin ventures into pubs, satellite broadcasting, clothes retailing and recording studios. And, despite the publicity reaped from a run-in with British Airways, Virgin Atlantic produces only a modest rate of return. This is a portrait of Branson which draws together the many contradictions of this upper-middle-class Englishman who singed the Sex Pistols and for whom danger is the one sensation he worships without reservation.
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Richard Branson is unique among today's folk heroes. Which other self-made British billionaire could lay claim to the highest esteem of our school children? Which other company chairman could be referred to by former BA Chairman Lord King as a 'pirate', having launched an airline largely on the profits of a pop song, and then go on to strike terror into the hearts of Coca-Cola and Pepsi by repackaging a branded cola? Only Branson. He is the everyman entrepreneur of our times: half marketing genius, half motivational wizard.
'Virgin King' explains how Branson started a mail-order record business in 1969 and ended up with a corporate conglomerate and riches beyond his dreams today. In the first fully independent, unauthorised account of one of the great success stories of our time, Tim Jackson reveals how a public-school drop-out has found the key to presenting aggressive business acumen with a friendly face. 'Virgin King' is the compelling history of both a private business empire and the man at its centre.
"The lottery scramble, the war with British Airways, the dare-devil exploits – all are laid bare in 'Virgin King', a blow-by-blow guide to Branson's rise from hippy entrepreneur to global player. Tim Jackson provides an entertaining chronology of Mr Branson's achievements and failures to date"
JON ASHWORTH, 'The Times'
"An admirable biography"
MICHAEL SKAPINKER, 'The Times'
"An entertaining investigation into the rise and rise of Richard Branson…A fast-moving story"
Tim Jackson writes a technology column for the ‘Financial Times’ newspaper. The author of ‘Virgin King: Inside Richard Branson’s Business Empire’ (HarperCollins 1994) and ‘Turning Japanese’ (HarperCollins 1993), he worked formerly as a foreign correspondent for the ‘Economist’ and the ‘Independent’ in Tokyo and Brussels. He is currently working on a book about the Sainsbury family.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX000224361X