John Pearson: Biography highlights

John Pearson is a passionate Media Entrepreneur- currently chairman of the groundbreaking digital music company Shazam. He is the former CEO of Virgin Radio where he worked closely with Richard Branson giving him the inside track on the unique values that make the Virgin brand so successful.

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Business Leaders

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Full biography of John Pearson

About John Pearson

  • Chairman of Shazam
  • Former CEO Virgin Radio
  • Now consulting for Virgin on their Global Radio Network
  • An excellent businessman and a dynamic leader

Speaking Style

  • Educational.

John Pearson has worked with some of the most dynamic entrepreneurs in business today and it is this combination of inside knowledge and sound business sense that makes his talks so fascinating.

John Pearson has always been forward thinking before becoming Chairman at Shazam Entertainment, home to the highly successful music recognition app which is driving social media engagement with TV, he played a key role in the launch of Virgin radio.

Virgin was the 1st independent radio station to get a license to broadcast to the whole of the UK. He became managing director in 1995 and chief executive in 1997 after the station was bought by the Ginger Media Group run by maverick broadcaster Chris Evans. The period was turbulent and some say the most colourful in British radio history but John Pearson sailed through it with a reputation for integrity as well as being An excellent businessman and a dynamic leader” according to Andrew Flanagan, the chief executive of Scottish Media Group who would eventually buy Virgin.

During this time John Pearson worked closely with Sir Richard Branson giving him a unique insight into the values and behaviours of one of the most successful and respected brands in the world. When Virgin Radio was sold to Scottish Media Group in 2000, John Pearson made a substantial amount of money and resigned 4 years later.

He is now Chairman and Non Executive Director at Shazam Entertainment and consults for Virgin on their Global Radio Network. He is also a shareholder/director of World Architecture News. An entrepreneur and Harvard Business School Alumni, John has been asked to submit and present to the British Government joint and select committees for both the broadcasting act and the BBC charter renewal.

He is a fascinating speaker who has worked with some of the most dynamic characters in business today. Of the Virgin brand he says;
“Virgin has a unique set of values and behaviours that empower staff to act in a Virgin way. These values define the invisible code of best Virgin practice and form the unique strand of Virgin DNA. By understanding the Virgin Values and how they work, not only are they transportable – you can learn to identify the core values already working within your business and start to use them for competitive advantage.”



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John has a unique ability to make everything appear simple that engages his audience and inspires thinking without boundaries. His energy and warm style combine to deliver a great message.'

Andy Jonesco
Alpine Electronics U.K.

'It was fascinating to get an insiders view of Virgin, it's a great message about culture and behaviour that can be applied to any business.'

Graham A. Johnson
Sales and Marketing Director

'John has the ability to inspire; his energetic style of thinking is delivered with honest human examples of a very powerful vision. John is a great communicator and among the best speakers I have encountered.'

Lee Roberts
Commercial Director
Novell, Inc.

'Our guests were treated to a real delight. John offered us that rare combination of inspiration and relevance - engaging our organization to explore untold possibilities. From recent MBA students to CEO's - John seamlessly engaged the group to cherish innovation, passion, and risk taking as the foundation for creating breakthrough organizational results.'

Dan Veitkus
Vice President

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