How can creative disruption shape the future?

View Schedule

Richard Branson mocks FirstGroup and Government ‘insanity’ for ‘worrying’ rail decision in series of tweets

Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has shown his views on FirstGroup winning the West Coast rail service, previously run by Virgin for 15 years, in a series of angry tweets.

Having started with a pleasant ‘Fantastic job by all @virgintrains staff. Proud of what's been achieved in past 15 years. Read my full statement here’, Branson then added ‘The last 2 times UK government turned a Virgin bid down the companies they accepted both went bust’.

He then continued to post several tweets over the course of the morning: ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again & expecting different results. When will UK government learn?’; ‘If you outbid somebody at auction you are smart if you do it by £1, less smart if by £1m & pretty worrying if by £750m!’ and ‘We were planning no redundancies whatsoever. Hope FirstGroup keep all our staff & keep improving service for customers’.

Each tweet contains a link through to a blog by Branson on the decision, in which he says the only reason Virgin was outbid for the contract was because ‘to have bid more would have involved dramatic cuts to customer quality and considerable fare rises which we were unwilling to entertain’.

What do you think? Should the tweets and blogs be praised for showing Branson’s human side and how the contract means something to the company, or is Branson just washing his dirty laundry in public?

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.