Shane Mathew Diedrichs, 38, is on a Virgin Airlines flight when the passenger in front reclines his seat and then refuses to put it upright. After pushing and shoving the seat, he is offered a new seat. He then hits the headrest and gives the other passenger a whiplash injury. He is arrested and fined 600$AUS.
No one reclines their seat between here and New Zealand. I’m not a violent person. I’m not an angry person. It was just bad timing.
Branson speaks with Chris Anderson of TED about running businesses:
I think I learned early on that if you can run one company, you can really run any companies. I mean, companies are all about finding the right people, inspiring those people, you know, drawing out the best in people.
Virgin Airlines nearly took down the entire business empire:
I think that there’s a very thin dividing line between success and failure. And I think if you start a business without financial backing, you’re likely to go the wrong side of that dividing line. We had — we were being attacked by British Airways. They were trying to put our airline out of business, and they launched what’s become known as the dirty tricks campaign. And I realized that the whole empire was likely to come crashing down unless I chipped in a chip. And in order to protect the jobs of the people who worked for the airline, and protect the jobs of the people who worked for the record company, I had to sell the family jewelry to protect the airline.
At the time of the interview, Virgin has about $25 billion dollars total revenue and 55,000 employees.