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James Dyson and Martin Sorrell top list of UK’s most impressive businessmen

Previous winners of the title include Sir Richard Branson, Justin King, and Sir Terry Leahy.

Zlata Rodionova
Wednesday 13 January 2016 13:05 GMT
Sir James Dyson has become Britain’s best-known entrepreneurial engineer (
Sir James Dyson has become Britain’s best-known entrepreneurial engineer (

Sir Martin Sorrell, head of the advertising and marketing services group WPP, and the inventor James Dyson have been jointly named “most impressive business person of the year" by their peers.

According to the “Captains of Industry” report by Ipsos Mori both candidates had the backing of 14 per cent of respondents.

They jointly take the top spot from Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson.

No woman has won the title since the first "Captains of Industry" report in 1981.

Sir Martin Sorrell joined WPP in 1986 as a director, becoming group CEO in the same year and transforming a business which had previously specialised in making shopping baskets.It is now the world’s leading communications and advertising company, with annual revenues of £11.5 billion in the year to December 2014.

British inventor and founder of the Dyson Company, James Dyson, is known for inventing the world’s first bagless vacuum cleaner. Sir James is the 10th richest person in the UK with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $4.7 billion.

The same survey found 61 per cent of respondents believed Britain’s role within Europe is the most important issue facing the nation today; far ahead of immigration at 21 per cent and terrorism at 15 per cent.

John Lewis was named the most admired British company for the second year in a row with 14 per cent of those questioned backing the firm, closely followed by Jaguar and British Airways both of which were mentioned by 10 per cent of respondents.

The report is based on the views of a hundred top directors from the UK’s largest companies, approximately half of whom are in the FTSE 350. Typically 80 per cent of respondents are chairmen, chief executives and managing directors.

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