Gymshark boss Ben Francis is UK's youngest billionaire
Capping a stellar career rise so far, Gymshark founder and CEO Ben Francis has been named one of the world's youngest billionaires. The 30-year-old founder of the hit decade-old UK sportswear retailer now has a net worth of $1.2 billion (£960 million), according to Forbes.
Francis, who earlier this year was also recognised with an MBE for services to the business sector in the King’s New Year’s Honours list, heads the omnichannel company with over 5.8million followers on Instagram. His stake of around 70% of the company also makes him the youngest billionaire in the UK.
State school-educated Francis started his international company from the garage of his parents’ Worcestershire home. After being persuaded by his mother to join a local gym to help improve his educational focus, he was uncomfortable wearing his gym kit so decided to make his own, with the help of his family. “And that’s how Gymshark started,” he recalled.
He quit Aston University when Gymshark took off to become a global empire with over 850 employees. He stepped down as CEO in 2015, but later took back the title, overseeing the opening of the company’s first flagship store on a key 18,000 sq ft location on London’s Regent Street in October.
He said of the brand’s move into physical retail: “Despite many forecasting the death of the high street and bricks & mortar in retail, we don’t buy into that. We’re bullish on its future and we are determined to prove it.”
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