Carphone Warehouse founder retires at 37; lives the easy life

The Ringo Starr of phone shop tycoons

One of the founders of Carphone Warehouse, Guy Johnson, has decided to leave the company and "retire" at 37, spending more time with his young family. He can of course because on top of the £10 million he made from the company's float last year, he also has 11 per cent of the mobile retailer's shares - currently worth £123 million.

The rest of the board has denied there has been a big bust-up but it is clear that Mr Johnson wasn't into the pan-European powerplay that the company's success has pulled it into. Since the company floated, Mr Johnson - who was in charge of distribution and logistics - has moved further and further into the background with chairman and chief exec Charles Dunstone leaping into the spotlight.

Mr Dunstone said of the departure: "He has become a smaller part of the group and, having spoken to him, I do not think he has any plans in mind other than spending some more time with his young family."

All this has sparked one wit to call Johnson the "Ringo Starr of Carphone Warehouse". Not a bad description but we say good luck to him. Shares in the company have fallen quite a bit since the float -and are currently being brought down by rumours that the company will issue a profits warning soon (something it denies categorically) - but Guy's share is still worth over £100 million.

He has agreed not to sell the shares within two years unless the board agrees. Why not? What does he care? He's set up for life and has a young family to look after. We can think of worse things in life. ®

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