My interview with Sir Richard Branson

Posted By: Ace Burpee · 8/31/2012 8:00:00 AM

About Sir Richard Branson:

In 1970 at age 20, Sir Richard Branson founded Virgin as a mail order record retailer and then as a record shop, recording studio and music label. Since then, Virgin has become one of the world's most recognized and respected brands, expanding into air and rail travel, leisure and hospitality, entertainment, radio, telecommunications, health and wellness, space tourism and clean energy through more than 400 branded companies in 30 countries with global branded revenues of $21B.

In December 1999, Sir Richard was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Millennium New Year’s honours list for “services to entrepreneurship.”

Sir Richard has been involved in numerous world record-breaking attempts. 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 1991, Sir Richard crossed the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada. In June 2004, he set the record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle. And in August of this year, he set the record as oldest person to kitesurf the English Channel.

In 2004, Sir Richard launched Virgin Unite to pull together the resources of Virgin Group and, most importantly, Virgin’s best asset—its people—to tackle tough challenges facing the world. In 2007, he joined Nelson Mandela, Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu to form The Elders, a group of independent leaders that seeks sustainable solutions to global humanitarian issues. In 2010, he launched the Carbon War Room to mobilize capital, innovation, expertise and entrepreneurs to advance climate change efforts. He has established Branson Centers of Entrepreneurship in South Africa and Jamaica.

Sir Richard is the author of Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way (Crown Business, 1998) and his most recent title, Screw Business as Usual (Penguin/Portfolio, 2011). In 2012, @richardbranson was named Britain’s most influential person on Twitter.

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