CEOs who didn’t get the grades

Who are they?

As thousands of teenagers await their fates as A-Level results are released tomorrow, those who did not do as well as they had hope need not fear.

There are many ways to become successful and achieve dreams other than the standard route; getting good grades and going off to university.

 Here are some successful people who didn’t let a lack of academic achievements hold them back.

Richard Branson – Eccentric Billionaire

Arguably one of the most famous UK billionaires Branson never completed high school, and dropped out at 16 years of age.

He never had much interest in school and struggled with dyslexic and had poor academic performance, according to biography.com.

After dropping out he started a youth-culture magazine called ‘student’ before going on to found the billion-pound empire Virgin Group, whose products span air travel, rail travel, holidays, music, banking, health and fitness and more.

Richard Branson’s net worth is said to be roughly $5bn according to Forbes.

Steve Jobs – Technology Genius

The genius co-founder of Apple, who revolutionised the way we use and view technology, dropped out of college and started creating the first Apple Computer a few years later in his garage.

The company grew to be valued at $1.2bn by the end of its first day as a publicly trading company in 1980.

Steve Jobs died in 2011 following a long battle with cancer. At the time of his death he was said to have a net worth of $11 billion, but left a far more priceless legacy.

Simon Cowell – Music Mogul

Simon Cowell is the most outspoken man in music but has faced several setbacks in his quest for top.

He dropped out of school at 16 with just one O level (the GCSE equivalent), and floated in and out of jobs and even sabotaged several interviews for jobs his father had lined up.

He started his career in the mailroom at his father’s company EMI Music Publishing before forming an independent label that then folded forcing him to move back in with his family, according to biography.com.

Undeterred Cowell didn’t give up and gradually made his way to the top and is now worth an estimated $43.5m according to Forbes.

Lord Alan Sugar - Billionaire businessman

Alan Sugar who takes no nonsense on the popular business reality show The Apprentice started out in business at an early age.

At the age of 12 he worked part-time for a greengrocer where he started earning his own money. He dropped out of school at 16 and started a small business of selling car aerials and electronics where his earnings soon exceeded those of his father’s, thefamouspeople.com said.

He formed Amstrad at the age of 21 which he then went on to sell to BSkyB in 2007 for £125m, making himself a cool £35m.

Now Lord Sugar he is said to be worth around £1.4bn.

Deborah Meaden – Dragons Den Investor

She’s best known for her role as an investor on Dragons Den and has had many years of business experience to get there.

She is said to have always wanted her own business and left school after her O-Levels (GCSEs) without completing her A-Levels choosing to study business at college instead, according to deborahmeaden.com.

After several successful business ventures she ran a multi-million family holiday business, being promoted to managing director within two years, before leading a management buyout in 1999. She sold the company for £33m in 2005, retaining a 23 per cent stake which she later sold for £83m.

Meaden is said to be worth £40m according to Spear’s.

Amancio Ortega - 4th richest person in world

His rags to riches story may not be one you are familiar with, Ortega is the billionaire founder and owner of fashion empire Zara.

He grew up in relative poverty in post war Spain according to his biographer Covadonga O’Shea. At around the age of 14 he left school and began running errands as a messenger boy for local shops.

Ortega was nearly 40 years old when he founded Zara in 1975 which grew quickly and now has 2,000 shops in 88 countries.

Ortega is the richest man in Spain with a whooping $74 billion net worth, also making him Forbes’ 4th richest person in world.

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