Sir Charles Dunstone
Mobile phones
Rank 2017

Given his a reputation as a fierce party thrower at his Holland Park pad in west London, perhaps it's no surprise that Dunstone's entrepreneurial appetites have now turned to food. The telecoms tycoon owns 59 Five Guys hamburger restaurants and has begun rolling out a second fast-food brand called MOD – Made on Demand. This chain allows diners to design their own pizzas, picking extra toppings for no further charge.
    Essex-born Dunstone, 52, is still best known for starting Carphone Warehouse with his friend David Ross (qv). The pair set up the business from a Marylebone flat in 1989 with just £6,000 savings. Over the intervening 28 years few people can be considered more instrumental in making mobile phones and tablets ubiquitous parts of modern life. Dunstone's stake in Dixons Carphone, created by a merger with Dixons Retail, is worth £426.7m, down £136.3m on last year, but with 42,000 staff the group is Britain's No 1 high street electricals retailer. His stake in TalkTalk, the mobile network that floated in 2010, has struggled since the high-profile cyber-attack two years ago.
   Dunstone's holding is worth £455.4m, a £247.6m drop on last year, though it still should have yielded a £41.5m dividend for him in 2016. Dunstone is this month set to take its helm after Baroness Harding stepped down after seven years leading the business. A keen sailor who is backing the Land Rover BAR team led by Sir Ben Ainslie in the America's Cup, Dunstone has also diversified into property, including the online estate agent HouseSimple. The fall in the share prices of Dixons Carphone and TalkTalk cuts him to £946m.