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From sales executive to a great business mans

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Sir Charles Dunstone is the chairman & co-founder of cell phone retail company Carphone Warehouse. He also holds the chair for multinational electrical & telecommunications retailer & services firm Dixons Carphone. Additionally, Dunstone is the chairperson of TalkTalk Group.


Charles William Dunstone was born on November 21, 1964, in Saffron Walden, Essex. He had his schooling from Uppingham School, Uppingham, Central England. His dad was a British Petroleum executive.

Early Career

Dunstone started his career by working as sales executive at NEC. It was during his NEC days he realized the huge potential of cell phones & mobile communication in near future. The earlier mobile handsets were huge and while corporate people were catered for pretty well, the general people & SMEs were looking for a simpler alternative. Driven by that realization, Dunstone took to selling mobile phones.
He began selling the mobile phones in 1989 with 6,000 pounds of savings from his flat at Marylebone Road. He was just 25 years then.


His mobile selling business began to grow gradually and he named his enterprise The Carphone Warehouse. The main focus of his company was to cater to the bigger market of general public & SMEs which could not take to the cumbersome large pricey handsets.
In 2000 July, CPW floated on LSE & earned a value of 1.7 billion pounds, based on 200p issue price. In 2008, US multinational consumer electronics company Best Buy wanted to form a new enterprise with CPW, which was named Best Buy Europe. Best Buy Europe’s assets comprise of CPW’s existent retail business & it operated from over 2,400 stores across 9 European nations- under Phone House & CPW brands.
Today, CPW is the biggest independent cell phone communications retailer in the world.

Dunstone is the non-executive director of HBOS ( the holding firm of Halifax plc) as well as of Daily Mail and General Trust. He is also the non-executive director of Independent Media Distribution PLC. In 2005, his fees in HBOS was 56,000 pounds,  £34,000 in DMGT & £20,000 in IMD.
He is the Council Member of The Prince’s Trust & has served as chairman of Get Connected from 2005 to 2012.
In 2014, Dunstone merged Carphone Warehouse with Dixons Retail.

Career Highlights

The most important highlight of Dunstone’s career is surely the merger of CPW with Best Buy that extended CPW’s products to as many as 9 countries- making CPW the biggest independent cell phone communications retailer in the world.

Personal Life

Dunstone is married to PR consultant Celia Gordon Shute. He is a great fan of sailing.
An esteemed entrepreneur with great foresight, Dunstone has founded a charitable trust that serves as the chief sponsor for Fulwood Academy. He is in support of both the Conservatives & Labour Party. In 2015, he published a piece in the eminent The Daily Mail, urging people to vote for Conservatives.

        - 2005 Business Person of the Year by The Daily Telegraph
        - Honored with Knighthood in Birthday Honours 2012
        - Appointed CVO in Queen’s Birthday Honours 2015

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