from Biography.com 11/12 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
Virgin Records. His first artist on his label, Mike Oldfield, recorded his single “Tubular Bells” in 1973 with the help of Branson’s team. The song was an instant smash, staying on the UK charts for 247 weeks. Using the momentum of Oldfield’s success, Branson then signed other aspiring musical groups to label, including the Sex Pistols. Artists such as the Culture Club, Rolling Stones, and Genesis would follow, helping to make Virgin Records one of the top 6 record companies in the world.
Business Expansion. Branson expanded his entrepreneurial efforts yet again, this time to include the Travel company . . .
1980 Voyager Group – Travel
1984 Virgin Atlantic – Airlines
1988 Virgin Megastores – Entertainment
A one-stop shop for all your entertainment needs, Virgin Megastore offers a wide range of products, including music CDs, books, games, movies & more
& Decline. But Branson’s success was not always predictable. By 1992, his Virgin companies were suddenly struggling to stay financially afloat. Virgin Records was sold later that year to THORN EMI for $1 billion. Branson was crushed by the loss, reportedly crying after the contract was signed, but remained determined to stay in the music business. In 1993, he founded the station Virgin Radio, and several years later he started a second record company, V2. Founded in 1996, V2 now includes artists such as Powder Finger and old Tom Jones.
Today’s Status. Branson’s Virgin Group now holds more than 200 companies in over 30 countries including the United Kingdom, the U.S.A, Australia, Canada, Asia, Europe & South Africa. He has expanded his businesses to include a RR Train company, a luxury Game Preserve for hunting, a Mobile Phone company, and a Space Tourism company, Virgin Galactic. Sub-Orbital Earth flights will begin in next couple of year for $200K each. If you have $20K for the deposit, you could book now.
A good Sport? Branson is also known for his sporting achievements, notably the record-breaking Atlantic crossing in Virgin Atlantic Challenger II in 1986, and the first crossing by hot-air balloon of the Atlantic (1987) and Pacific (1991). He was knighted in 1999 for his contribution to entrepreneurship, and in 2009 he landed on Forbes’ World Billionaires list with his $2.5 billion in self-made fortune, which includes two private islands in the Caribbean. Branson is married to his second wife, Joan Templeman, with whom he has two children: Holly & Sam. He currently splits his time between London & his Island.
Comment: What do you think? Would you like to be like Richard Branson?