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20 Barry Bown

Chief executive, JD Sports Fashion

With no-nonsense Barry Bown at the helm, JD Sports Fashion has rapidly expanded this year. It snapped up chains including Irish sports retailer Champion, Spanish fashion and footwear chain Sprinter, and menswear retailer Cecil Gee. It also boosted its brand portfolio by acquiring menswear brand Peter Werth. Despite widespread gloom on the high street and this year’s riots (the retailer had £700,000 of stock looted from its stores), JD has thrived, posting 20.6% profit growth for the first half of its financial year. However, like-for-like sales in the 16 weeks to November 9 remained flat.

Most likely to… Break the world record for owning the most pairs of trainers. His collection currently stands at 800.

Last year’s position 31

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