Sir Richard Branson is founder of the Virgin Group. The brand began in 1970 as a mail order record retailer and record label which went on to sign household names from the Sex Pistols to The Rolling Stones. Today, Virgin is one of the world's most irresistible brands and has expanded into diverse sectors such as air and rail travel, leisure and hospitality, telecommunications, health and wellness, and space travel in 50 countries, with revenues of $24B.
Sir Richard has challenged himself with many record breaking adventures, including the fastest ever Atlantic Ocean crossing, a series of hot air balloon journeys and kitesurfing across the English Channel. He has described Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, as “the greatest adventure of all”.
Since starting the youth culture magazine, Student, at age 16, Sir Richard has found entrepreneurial ways to provoke positive change in the world. In 2004, he established the non-profit foundation Virgin Unite to tackle tough social and environmental problems and to make business a force for good.
Sir Richard's initiatives include The Elders, a group of independent leaders that tackles global humanitarian issues, Carbon War Room, which mobilizes capital, innovation, expertise and entrepreneurs to advance climate change efforts, and Branson Centers of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Jamaica.
He is also a record breaker online, voted the UK’s number one Twitter user, the world’s most social CEO and the world’s most followed person on LinkedIn. He maintains a daily blog with more than 21 million followers across five social networks.
Sir Richard was awarded a knighthood for services to entrepreneurship. He lives on Necker Island with his wife Joan and has two children, Holly and Sam.