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Branson: Behind the Mask Hardcover – 27 Jan 2014
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I think all journalists would benefit from reading Branson: Behind the Mask... Bower paints Branson as a showman who often fails to live up to his promises. (Roy Greenslade Guardian)
The book is subtitled Behind the Mask. Like in The Wizard of Oz, Bower is suggesting that behind the mask is nothing but a flim-flam merchant selling fantasies. (Nicholas Blincoe Daily Telegraph)
Nuggets of pure gold from original reporting. (Dominic O’Connell Sunday Times)
'Way more spicy than the usual corporate arse-lick' --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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If you doubt how real these truth are just look at the Little Red saga at Virgin Atlantic - everyone knew from day one it would fail for all the reasons Virgin were warned about. Branson appearing with the usual blonds and in underpants saying "stiff competition" over his privates for photos at the press launch, it was all too fake. Then the recent TV series about the airline. He couldn't even remember staff he worked with for 30 years. He seemed disconnected. Young staff had never even seem him never mind met him. At the 787 route launch to Atlanta he made the most embarrassingly unscripted and impromptu speech I've ever seen. The audience looked shocked, disappointed, even dumbfounded. In 2012 there was a huge Virgin Galactic stand at Farnborough Airshow. In 2014 it wasn't even there.
So, read this book, look at what you can see for yourself - the adoration of a workforce - 500 of whom were made redundant just as the TV Show finished airing and yet it went almost unreported. Then look into the book again and it becomes sad, for Virgin and for Britain. We were all conned by the image makers and Branson's bluster. So while I may not like Branson or his modus operandi, will it stop me flying Virgin? No! An excellent book that deserves a wider audience.
We also learn that Branson has his Virgin HQ now in Switzerland. He avoids living and working in the EU like the plague, but tells us all we must stay in. "cui bono" (in whose benefit) !!!
Must end now, can't wait to get to page four!
Whilst it's worth reading, it really just catalogues a whole load of new things which are frankly the sort of shenanigans any business would get up to - the only real point being that Branson has a public persona totally at odds with his practical business ethos, and he's about as much a billionaire as Mr Trump. I personally think Branson is awful, and I'm baffled as to how many people fall for some of the seemingly idiotic things he gets them to do, but hey - he does manage it - so fair play to him.
Worth a read though. If only to keep your deposit money away from Virgin Galactic...
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