John Roberts

Founder & CEO of AO and Chairman of OnSide Youth Zones

John is an entrepreneur, businessman, investor and passionate philanthropist. He founded online electrical retailer AO.com in 2000 following a £1 bet with his friend that he couldn’t change the face of the white goods market. Almost twenty years later, with the industry changed, it has proven to be a valuable bet: AO has gone from three employees to over 3,000 across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. AO also owns one of Europe’s most advanced electricals recycling plants, a nationwide best-in-class logistics company and is the largest online mobile phone retailer in the UK. John is also a long-standing supporter of the development of opportunities for young people and is Chairman of OnSide, an initiative that is transforming youth provision in the UK by giving young people safe, affordable and inspiring places to go in their leisure time. His overarching goal is to ensure that no young person is left behind. Twitter handle @johnrobertsAO