Sir Charles Dunstone launched his career at electronics company NEC, supplying corporate clients with computers. With the advent of mobile phones, he found that no one was selling to the individual or small companies, so with limited funds and in true entrepreneurial style, he founded Carphone Warehouse in 1989, selling mobile phones from his home.
Offering peerless service and objective advice, the company quickly expanded into Europe and floated on the London Stock Exchange in 2000, valued at £1.7 billion.
Carphone Warehouse acquired Opal Telecom and launched TalkTalk in 2003 – a residential, fixed-line service to compete with BT – allowing customers to talk to each other for free. In 2006, TalkTalk launched the UK’s first free broadband service and became the fastest-growing telecoms business. It is now a FTSE 250 company and market leader.
Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk demerged in 2010, forming two separate companies, with Charles chairing both.
In 2014, Carphone Warehouse merged with Dixons Retail, creating FTSE 100 company Dixons Carphone plc, which helps customers navigate the connected world. It is the foremost services company and specialist telecoms and electrical retailer in Europe.
Passionate about supporting young entrepreneurs, Charles is proud to have been Chairman of The Prince’s Trust for six years and Council member for fifteen.
In 2012, Charles was Knighted for services to the telecoms industry and for his charitable work. He is currently Chairman of Royal Museums Greenwich and BAR Racing.