AO.com boss debuts on rich list with personal fortune of £410 million

AO.com boss John Roberts

AO.com boss John Roberts

First published in News

THE owner of Bolton-based firm AO.com has made his debut in The Sunday Times Rich List.

John Roberts created the household appliance internet retailer after a friend bet him £1 that he would not get round to setting up his own business.

AO.com was floated on the stock market in February, and was valued at nearly £1.6 billion.

A former kitchen sales manager, Mr Roberts enters the list of Britain’s 1,000 richest people in 246th place, with a personal fortune of £410 million.

Comments (21)

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8:08am Tue 20 May 14

JustBecause says...

Top job, amazing success. Now put him in charge of the council, clearly more qualified to hold the purse strings and turn bolton around, than the losers running the show at the moment.
Top job, amazing success. Now put him in charge of the council, clearly more qualified to hold the purse strings and turn bolton around, than the losers running the show at the moment. JustBecause
  • Score: 22

8:46am Tue 20 May 14

Jim271 says...

In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire.

I wonder?

Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract?

How many non-British staff does he employ?

Does his company have a Union?

It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon).
In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire. I wonder? Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract? How many non-British staff does he employ? Does his company have a Union? It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon). Jim271
  • Score: 1

9:18am Tue 20 May 14

MarkAllRead says...

Jim, AO was voted the fourth best company in the country to work for, by its own employees in an independent anonymous survey. It has held the #4 slot for a few years I believe.
Jim, AO was voted the fourth best company in the country to work for, by its own employees in an independent anonymous survey. It has held the #4 slot for a few years I believe. MarkAllRead
  • Score: 12

9:21am Tue 20 May 14

Keepthepeace says...

Jim, thanks for the history lesson. now shut up.
Jim, thanks for the history lesson. now shut up. Keepthepeace
  • Score: 2

9:25am Tue 20 May 14

Jim271 says...

Voted by its own employees,

lol that's like asking members of Tory/Labour/UKIP which party should run the Country, or MUFC supporters which is the best team in the world (City,lol).

People these days are scared to speak out against their own companies because they know they can lose their jobs very easily and now the Government has introduced a fee of £1200 to take an employer to a tribunal its a licence for companies to ignore decades of employment laws knowing that they can sack people who are too poor to sue them.

Not one party has spoken out against the exploitation of workers apart from UKIP, which is very very worrying as it suggests the other parties are no bothered with the rights of workers.
Voted by its own employees, lol that's like asking members of Tory/Labour/UKIP which party should run the Country, or MUFC supporters which is the best team in the world (City,lol). People these days are scared to speak out against their own companies because they know they can lose their jobs very easily and now the Government has introduced a fee of £1200 to take an employer to a tribunal its a licence for companies to ignore decades of employment laws knowing that they can sack people who are too poor to sue them. Not one party has spoken out against the exploitation of workers apart from UKIP, which is very very worrying as it suggests the other parties are no bothered with the rights of workers. Jim271
  • Score: -19

9:31am Tue 20 May 14

Keepthepeace says...

Jim271 wrote:
Voted by its own employees,

lol that's like asking members of Tory/Labour/UKIP which party should run the Country, or MUFC supporters which is the best team in the world (City,lol).

People these days are scared to speak out against their own companies because they know they can lose their jobs very easily and now the Government has introduced a fee of £1200 to take an employer to a tribunal its a licence for companies to ignore decades of employment laws knowing that they can sack people who are too poor to sue them.

Not one party has spoken out against the exploitation of workers apart from UKIP, which is very very worrying as it suggests the other parties are no bothered with the rights of workers.
LOL LOL LOL LOL
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: Voted by its own employees, lol that's like asking members of Tory/Labour/UKIP which party should run the Country, or MUFC supporters which is the best team in the world (City,lol). People these days are scared to speak out against their own companies because they know they can lose their jobs very easily and now the Government has introduced a fee of £1200 to take an employer to a tribunal its a licence for companies to ignore decades of employment laws knowing that they can sack people who are too poor to sue them. Not one party has spoken out against the exploitation of workers apart from UKIP, which is very very worrying as it suggests the other parties are no bothered with the rights of workers.[/p][/quote]LOL LOL LOL LOL Keepthepeace
  • Score: -5

10:09am Tue 20 May 14

heaton watcher says...

MarkAllRead wrote:
Jim, AO was voted the fourth best company in the country to work for, by its own employees in an independent anonymous survey. It has held the #4 slot for a few years I believe.
And he is a very nice man, too!
[quote][p][bold]MarkAllRead[/bold] wrote: Jim, AO was voted the fourth best company in the country to work for, by its own employees in an independent anonymous survey. It has held the #4 slot for a few years I believe.[/p][/quote]And he is a very nice man, too! heaton watcher
  • Score: 4

10:15am Tue 20 May 14

stereo_world says...

There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.
There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two. stereo_world
  • Score: 0

10:22am Tue 20 May 14

BoltonNick says...

stereo_world wrote:
There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.
Never invest in football - it is very fool-hardy to do so.

Unless one is a billionaire and can get the club to be a top 6 club in The Premier League with constant European adventures then each club will, and do, lose money left right and centre.
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.[/p][/quote]Never invest in football - it is very fool-hardy to do so. Unless one is a billionaire and can get the club to be a top 6 club in The Premier League with constant European adventures then each club will, and do, lose money left right and centre. BoltonNick
  • Score: 3

11:24am Tue 20 May 14

MarkAllRead says...

Jim, to be clear about the survey, its independently run and anonymous. You don't hand your forms to the CEO. Not only that, but the questions are not really based on opinion, but you are asked question about your working practices and environment and then it is up to the people who run the survey to judge how good or bad that is. By the way, I don't work there and have never done the survey, I just know about it already, from somewhere else.
Jim, to be clear about the survey, its independently run and anonymous. You don't hand your forms to the CEO. Not only that, but the questions are not really based on opinion, but you are asked question about your working practices and environment and then it is up to the people who run the survey to judge how good or bad that is. By the way, I don't work there and have never done the survey, I just know about it already, from somewhere else. MarkAllRead
  • Score: 5

12:11pm Tue 20 May 14

mklh07 says...

stereo_world wrote:
There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.
The owner of that football club does not feature in the Sunday Times rich list,
but BWFC owe him £150 millon.
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.[/p][/quote]The owner of that football club does not feature in the Sunday Times rich list, but BWFC owe him £150 millon. mklh07
  • Score: 2

12:15pm Tue 20 May 14

Beyond News Forum says...

What is with all the spam popping up on the BN website?

I do not care... unless he drops a few thousand quids in my pocket like he has obviously done to get this advert in, then I will shout his name from the rooftops.
What is with all the spam popping up on the BN website? I do not care... unless he drops a few thousand quids in my pocket like he has obviously done to get this advert in, then I will shout his name from the rooftops. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: -3

12:16pm Tue 20 May 14

mklh07 says...

stereo_world wrote:
There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.
The owner of that football club does not feature in The Sunday Times rich list,but BWC owe him £150 millon.
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.[/p][/quote]The owner of that football club does not feature in The Sunday Times rich list,but BWC owe him £150 millon. mklh07
  • Score: 1

1:01pm Tue 20 May 14

wsw69 says...

stereo_world wrote:
There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.
Bolton's own 'JR', but in a much nicer fashion than that bu55er from from Dallas - lol. He clearly has the nous and get up and go to have achieved what he has done.

To stereo_world;
I think John Roberts only want's to deal with winners, and quite rightly so. :-)

I know quite a few who work for him and they all only praise how good the firm is to work for.

Here's to his next £400+ million !!!!
[quote][p][bold]stereo_world[/bold] wrote: There's a football club down the road looking for investment, Mr Roberts. Care to buy them out? You might make a bob or two.[/p][/quote]Bolton's own 'JR', but in a much nicer fashion than that bu55er from from Dallas - lol. He clearly has the nous and get up and go to have achieved what he has done. To stereo_world; I think John Roberts only want's to deal with winners, and quite rightly so. :-) I know quite a few who work for him and they all only praise how good the firm is to work for. Here's to his next £400+ million !!!! wsw69
  • Score: 13

1:03pm Tue 20 May 14

cliff4treasurer says...

He's self made, he deserves credit as he employs local people who spend money in local shops. All the jealous prats on here are no doubt unemployed jealous prats .
I don't know the guy ,never worked for him and no nothing about any survey.
But I give credit where it's due.
He's self made, he deserves credit as he employs local people who spend money in local shops. All the jealous prats on here are no doubt unemployed jealous prats . I don't know the guy ,never worked for him and no nothing about any survey. But I give credit where it's due. cliff4treasurer
  • Score: 12

4:12pm Tue 20 May 14

Thatissowrong says...

Well done that man. Enjoy your success you've earned it.
Well done that man. Enjoy your success you've earned it. Thatissowrong
  • Score: 7

5:20pm Tue 20 May 14

underwater says...

Jim271 wrote:
In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire.

I wonder?

Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract?

How many non-British staff does he employ?

Does his company have a Union?

It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon).
If the man wants to continue to run a sucsessfull business he would be well advised to keep any unions well away. The unions get invoved and in no time at all workers have been talked into striking. One thing the unions and the Labour Party dislike is a succsessfull businessman, regardless of how much employment he provides.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire. I wonder? Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract? How many non-British staff does he employ? Does his company have a Union? It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon).[/p][/quote]If the man wants to continue to run a sucsessfull business he would be well advised to keep any unions well away. The unions get invoved and in no time at all workers have been talked into striking. One thing the unions and the Labour Party dislike is a succsessfull businessman, regardless of how much employment he provides. underwater
  • Score: -1

5:46pm Tue 20 May 14

wsw69 says...

Jim271 wrote:
In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire.

I wonder?

Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract?

How many non-British staff does he employ?

Does his company have a Union?

It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon).
Jim271,

You can always take out a Freedom of Information Request and find out.

Amazon are a god awful outfit of a company.

Zero hours contracts are pure exploitation, and nothing else. Greedy and moral less employers are exploiting people who want to work.
[quote][p][bold]Jim271[/bold] wrote: In the 19 Century many company owners did a great deal for there workers including building houses and schools for example the town of Saltaire. I wonder? Does he employ anybody on a zero hours contract? How many non-British staff does he employ? Does his company have a Union? It would be great to see a company that really does care for its workers rather than pretends to (eg Amazon).[/p][/quote]Jim271, You can always take out a Freedom of Information Request and find out. Amazon are a god awful outfit of a company. Zero hours contracts are pure exploitation, and nothing else. Greedy and moral less employers are exploiting people who want to work. wsw69
  • Score: 2

10:36pm Tue 20 May 14

hazdbfs says...

My daughter works here. I can assure you that the support and benefits the staff get outstrips anything that I have ever heard of large companies doing for their staff. Career development and educational development are actively encouraged (and funded). My daughter has had the opportunity to do a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ... Funded by the company and completed in work time. The company organises social gatherings for employees and a families on a regular basis and does massive amounts for charity like Sports Relief and Bolton Lads and Girls Club. This gentleman genuinely cares for his staff and their well being. If you saw the office in Bolton, you would be highly impressed. I know of no other employer who provides as much for his employees. So well done to Mr Roberts. He started with nothing and deserved all the success he gains... Because he truly values the people who helped him get there.
My daughter works here. I can assure you that the support and benefits the staff get outstrips anything that I have ever heard of large companies doing for their staff. Career development and educational development are actively encouraged (and funded). My daughter has had the opportunity to do a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ... Funded by the company and completed in work time. The company organises social gatherings for employees and a families on a regular basis and does massive amounts for charity like Sports Relief and Bolton Lads and Girls Club. This gentleman genuinely cares for his staff and their well being. If you saw the office in Bolton, you would be highly impressed. I know of no other employer who provides as much for his employees. So well done to Mr Roberts. He started with nothing and deserved all the success he gains... Because he truly values the people who helped him get there. hazdbfs
  • Score: 8

11:46pm Tue 20 May 14

Lawlesschat says...

I know several people who work for this company. I promise you that this is one company where the staff are treat as people and not numbers.
It's reflective of the company's success I guess, statistics speak for themselves.

I wish my employers were only half as caring for it's employees!!
I know several people who work for this company. I promise you that this is one company where the staff are treat as people and not numbers. It's reflective of the company's success I guess, statistics speak for themselves. I wish my employers were only half as caring for it's employees!! Lawlesschat
  • Score: 7

12:44pm Wed 21 May 14

Phil from Smithills says...

Well done John Roberts, great to see a local lad make good., and from what I have read, takes care of his workforce.
Well done John Roberts, great to see a local lad make good., and from what I have read, takes care of his workforce. Phil from Smithills
  • Score: 1

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