Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is a British industrialist, best known for his Virgin brand of over 360 companies. Branson's first successful business venture was at age 16, when he published a magazine called Student. He then set up an audio record mail-order business in 1970. In 1972, he opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records, later known as Virgin Megastores and rebranded after a management buyout as Zavvi in late 2007.

With his flamboyant and competitive style, Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s—as he set up Virgin Atlantic Airways and expanded the Virgin Records music label. Richard Branson is the 261st richest person in the world according to Forbes' 2009 list of billionaires, with an estimated net worth of approximately £1.5 billion (US$2.5 billion).