Shaper: Jon Wright

Show aired on 28th October 2017

Transcript

Jon Wright
Jon co-founded innocent in May 1999 along with two friends, Richard Reed and Adam Balon. Innocent now has revenues of £250m and sells in 15 different countries across Europe. Jon and his two co-founders sold their controlling stake in innocent to Coca Cola in 2013 with the business valued at over half a billion dollars and they remain on the board as minority shareholders.

At innocent, Jon initially ran the supply chain, developing the businesses processes and systems. When it expanded internationally in 2008, Jon became UK MD and COO of the overall group.

Since innocent, Jon has co-founded JamJar Investments, again with Richard and Adam. JamJar backs early stage consumer-facing businesses.

Jon and innocent’s awards include winning E&Y’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Britain’s Greatest Business at ITV’s Great Britons Awards; National Business Awards’ Small/Medium Business of the Year, and Orange Innovative Company of the Year.

Jon is married with three children and is a trustee of the innocent foundation that gives ten percent of innocent’s profits each year to charity.

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“To our great shock we couldn’t find a reason not to do it. It was, you know, oh god we’re going to end up doing fruit smoothies…”

“…we’re kind of sitting in these leather chairs, spinning around pretending to be executives but really having no idea what we’re doing.”

“Innocent was all about transparency and being no different on the inside of the business to what we projected out.”

“You can innovate everywhere. Everyone thinks innovation is about the product and the thing you’re making but it can be about the way the business operates.”

“It was that kind of healthy tension between new ideas and the innovation but also being ruthless about stopping the stuff that wasn’t working.”

“We had an ambition when we set the business up that this could get to a few million pounds turnover. By the time we got to 2007 it was over a hundred million pounds.”

“I’m so fortunate now to be in a comfortable position and then to be able to put some of that money to work helping other people.”

“Yes, we are investors but we know what it feels like when you’re confronted with those decisions and those big turning points, how it feels and what the outcomes can be.”

“The majority of businesses that you back, that you’re super excited about, that you think are going to take over the world, won’t and so you are reminded day in/day out just how wrong you are about everything.”