Net Worth: $700 Million
Source of Wealth: Internet retailing (AO.com)
John Roberts Net Worth: British internet retailer, John Roberts has an estimated net worth of $700 million (£410m) as of 2014, according to Sunday Times rich list.
The former kitchen sales manager Roberts founded AO.com 14 years ago after realizing that the long supply chain for white goods such as washing machines was inflating prices paid by consumers.
A friend bet him £1 over a drink in a pub that he wouldn’t do it. His Bolton-based AO World business, which includes the online household appliances retailer, floated in February with a £1.2bn valuation. Demand from investors, however, pushed the value up further, settling at £1.5bn.
Nicknamed the Kitchen King, Roberts, cashed in shares worth £112m during and after the float. His remaining AO World stake is 26.5%, and, once the tax man has had his cut, the Lancastrian is worth £410m. That’s not bad for someone who left school at 17 with a handful of GCSEs. Roberts, who has just bought a new home in Bolton and owns a ski lodge in France, may not be too popular with his five children — he plans to leave his fortune to charity.