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Stephen Murphy

Stephen Murphy


Stephen Murphy has a unique insight into the challenges of creating international branded consumer businesses across multiple sectors having succeeded Founder Sir Richard Branson as Group Chief Executive of Virgin – the global branded consumer products and services business – in 2005. Stephen re-shaped the Virgin organisation and increased its diversification and reach before stepping down at the end of 2011. Virgin now operates in over 30 countries and has worldwide branded revenues of over 20 billion dollars and has a world wide reputation for innovation and customer service.

Stephen currently serves on several boards within Virgin and as Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, Jumeriah Group (the hotels and property group based in Dubai), The Garden Centre Group and The Learning Clinic and on the board of Ren Ren (China’s second largest social network). He is a Non-Executive Director of The Business Growth Fund, a £2.5bn UK investment fund supporting small and medium sized UK enterprises.

Uniquely Virgin has founded many of its business as “start ups”, ultimately creating 6 major business worth in excess of 1 billion dollars in diverse sectors and geographies. This track record gives Stephen unprecedented experience in the challenges of growth and internationalisation for a UK brand.

Stephen joined Virgin in 1994 as Group Finance Director having worked for many famous FMCG companies such as Mars and Unilever plc. He briefly left Virgin in 2000 only to return to the Group in late 2001 to oversee all the transport interests following the events of September 2001 and the re-nationalisation of Railtrack.

Stephen has extensive board experience in public and private companies and has served on boards in the USA, Europe and Australia, as well as the UK. He also has industry experience in many sectors including transport, travel, financial services, leisure, media,  telecommunications and healthcare.

Stephen is also very experienced in regulated business models and has in depth experience in dealing with governmental functions and international regulatory authorities

Specialist topics include:

Organisational culture and motivation
Effective leadership
Successfully managing growth
Taking successful businesses into new markets
Joint ventures and partnerships – risks and opportunities
International branding and marketing


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