Richard Branson is an entrepreneur who prefers to gamble when he wins whatever the result
A wager is reported between owners of two competing airlines, Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Airways and Tony Fernandes of Air Asia.
The charity bet was over the performances not of airlines but of two Formula One racing teams. Did I mention that the two were sufficiently wealthy to own their own racing teams? The owner of the team performing worse would dress as an air hostess and serve passengers on his rival airline. Yes, serve actual travelers with actual refreshments dressed as what the Press called a trolley dolly.
Branson frocks up
Branson’s airline lost. A suitably frocked- up Sir Richard paid his debt. [Reported May 2013]. It was very much a mile high dare..
Who loses wins
So here’s the thing. The story revealed the ‘loser’ of the bet camping up his role on Asia airlines. The publicity was not invaluable but far from damaging for the company. Sir Richard ‘lost’ by doing what he most enjoys, being the centre of attention. Go figure. There must be a leadership message in the story somewhere.
LWD subscribers in England may remember another recent gamble by Mr Fernandes. His football team, Queen’s Park Rangers, was relegated from the football Premiership. The gamble of switching manager with ten games to go did not pay off.