5 SIR CHARLES DUNSTONE
Computers 2018: £876m 2017: £860m (5th)
Sir Charles Dunstone is not having the best of times. The Saffron Walden-born entrepreneur is under pressure from investors in the TalkTalk broadband operator that he chairs. There is even talk that he could be ousted according to press reports. Dunstone is of course best known for co-founding the Carphone Warehouse operation with his former Uppingham public schoolboy friend David Ross. The pair set up the business from a Marylebone flat in 1989 with £6,000 savings. Over the following 29 years few people can have been more instrumental in making mobile phones and tablet computers ubiquitous parts of modern life. A keen sailor, Dunstone’s stake in Dixons Carphone, created by a merger with Dixons Retail, is now worth £209m. His stake in TalkTalk, which was spun off from Carphone and later floated on the stock market in 2010, is now worth £407m. TalkTalk has struggled since a high profile cyber-attack three years ago. With a reputation as a fierce party thrower at his Holland Park pad, perhaps it’s no surprise that Dunstone’s entrepreneurial appetites have also turned to food. He now has more than 70 Five Guys hamburger restaurants and he’s begun rolling out a second fast food chain known as MOD — Made on Demand. This chain allows diners to design their own pizzas, picking extra toppings for no further charge. Dunstone also owns 10% of Boxpark, the fast food market in Croydon. He has also diversified into property, including the online estate agent HouseSimple. In all with past dividends, Dunstone should now be worth £876m after tax.