The Greatest Briton winner

Virgin king gets your vote

Richard Branson is the Greatest Briton in Management and Leadership,
according to the readers of Personnel Today.

An overwhelming majority of HR professionals voted for the charismatic head
of Virgin Group. Mike Broad, assistant editor of Personnel Today, argued that
the balloon-flying business maverick deserved the title for inspiring and
entertaining staff and the public for more than 30 years – and readers agreed.

Branson has risen from running a struggling student magazine in a basement
flat to heading up a global brand that turns over £3.5bn. His companies – which
employ 35,000 people – are all imbued with his values of opportunism and fun,
and Virgin Group has become the pre-eminent employer of choice (to re-read the
article go to

Anita Roddick’s commitment to an ethical agenda at the Body Shop also
appealed to voters. She has blazed a trail for women moving into senior
management, and was the clear runner-up.

We offered one lucky reader a palm top computer for taking the trouble to
vote – the competition winner is Suzanne Fretwell, HR officer at Elliott Group.

Personnel Today would like to thank the 10 leading figures in the field who
contributed excellent articles on their nominated Britons, and to the hundreds
of readers who voted.

The Greatest Britons in Management and Leadership by number of votes  

1.         Richard
Branson nominated by Mike Broad, assistant editor of Personnel Today

2.         Anita Roddick
nominated by Max Mckeown, leading management author

3.         Adrian Cadbury
nominated by Geoff Armstrong, director general of the CIPD

4.         Ernest
Shackleton nominated by Ruth Spellman, chief executive of Investors in People

5.         Ernest Bevin
nominated by Brendan Barber, general secretary elect of the TUC

6.         Alexander
Graham Bell nominated by Paul Pagliari, HR director of Scottish Water

7.         Geoffrey de
Havilland nominated by Linda Holbeche, director of research at Roffey Park

8.         Mike Brearley
nominated by Tim Yeo, shadow secretary of state for trade and industry

9.         Jack Jones
nominated by Stephen Bubb, chief executive of ACEVO

10.       John Reith
nominated by Will Hutton, chief executive of The Work Foundation

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