Overview – Virgin Group, Ltd.
The Virgin Group, Ltd. is a British based venture capital organization founded by Richard Branson, incorporated in 1989. The focus of their business group is travel, entertainment, and lifestyle, and while actually incorporating as a venture capital group in the late 1980s, they had a number of activities in the 1970s. To date, Virgin has created more than 300 companies globally, employing over 50,000 people in 30 countries. In 2009, global revenues exceeded $18 billion US with a portfolio that continues to grow. The company believes in making a difference, and is quite particular about the manner in which they invest, or assist in marketing new ventures. Several things appear to ensure that anything that has a Virgin brand is successful: 1) the brand, 2) Richard Branson’s reputation; 3) empowering of talent; and 4) the management style engendered by Branson which flows down to almost every aspect of the organization. The company prides itself on sound, sustainable philosophies and posits the notion that there are six identifiers that characterize the company: • Lower the carbon footprint of all Virgin represented projects • The Gaia concept – one living world – use the planet’s resources responsibly • Equality of all humans, regardless of ethnicity and location • Inspiration and continual change – create desire and change agents • Wellness – offer products and services that contribute to physical and emotional well-being • Voice – use a voice together to make the planet a better place, and take this philosophy to home, in leisure time, or when dealing with any organization (People and Planet, 2012). Richard Branson Leadership Style
Much of the success of the Virgin group can be attributed to Richard Branson’s charismatic and innovative leadership style. The essential is that he empowers people to innovate and grow – a philosophical viewpoint that sets the tone for the...