Branson: Behind the Mask by Tom Bower

By Tom Bower

The picture is still pristine: a charismatic high-school dropout grew to become billionaire, whose stratospheric upward thrust and bold exploits have gained him hundreds of thousands of putting up with admirers and made him a version for aspiring marketers through the international. yet is that this tale nonetheless credible? over the past decade, has Branson matched the expectancies perpetuated by means of Virgin's relentless exposure desktop? Or have all of us been seduced by way of an excellent showman? In his such a lot explosive ebook to this point, Tom Bower, bestselling biographer of Simon Cowell, Bernie Ecclestone, Conrad Black and Robert Maxwell, dares to discover the truth of the Branson empire. In doing so, he unravels the gripping tale of his contemporary actions - from the staggering luck of cell phones to his airways and his lengthy behind schedule plan to ship multimillionaires into area - and asks no matter if he relatively is still Britain's heroic buccaneer.

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Entrepreneurs, he stoically repeated, prospered by learning from failure. Nevertheless, unlike Trump’s show, Branson’s was not recommissioned. The finale was played out in September 2005. Coincidentally, Branson appeared at a fashion show in New York’s Bryant Park to hear Trump loudly condemn Branson’s show as ‘bombing’. In retaliation, Branson predicted to their audience that SpaceShipTwo would be taking off with passengers in just two years’ time. ‘My aeronautical engineers’, chirruped Branson in front of Trump, ‘are designing a Virgin hotel to be built on the moon, or perhaps orbit around it, with glass-encased sleeping areas.

In particular, he described his plan to launch Virgin America, a cut-price airline based in California. The journalists appeared to be impressed, but the publicity after the meeting barely justified the effort. com, Virgin Active, Virgin Rail and Virgin Money over the next eight years. The only objective conclusion was that Branson needed cash. Two years later, in 2004, his finances had been restored by Virgin Mobile’s success, but progress in America had stalled. Buying into Virgin Galactic was one solution, although it did not satisfy his appetite for instant fame.

The winner would receive a $1 million prize and the position of president of the Virgin empire. Darnell handed the production to Jonathan Murray, based in Los Angeles. From the outset, Murray had no doubt that the purpose was to ‘familiarise Americans with the Virgin brand’. At his first meeting with Branson in London, Murray understood that he was to use shots of Virgin Atlantic planes whenever possible, in a programme showing ‘how Branson leads and what his process is’. In Darnell’s description, Branson was taking ‘a select group of America’s best and brightest around the world to relive his experiences and dilemmas’.

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