He worked for Cavenham Foods (owned by Sir James Goldsmith and later sold to Générale Occidentale) as a sales manager, and briefly became a teacher. He moved to Miami and began his business career working for a builder of power boats, Ted Toleman. He worked for two years as Business Development Manager at the Toleman Group. One of these boats was the Virgin Atlantic Challenger, and he became the Chief Pilot. From 1981-5 he worked for , who built the Virgin boats.
He joined Virgin Atlantic in 1989. In 1990 he became Managing Director of Virgin Freeway. He became a board director in 1994. Formerly Virgin Atlantic's vice-president of customer services, he was appointed as Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic in April 1998. He became Chief Executive in October 2001.His annual salary is somewhere in the region of £750,000