Virgin Group founder and business magnate Sir Richard Branson has apologised after posting a photograph from a launch event in South Africa that only included white people.
The tycoon, who later deleted the photo, acknowledged the image used to accompany a tweet, “clearly lacked diversity”.
The Virgin Group boss, who operates a tented safari camp in the heart of Maasai Mara game reserve named Mahali Mzuri ‘a beautiful place’, had faced criticism over the picture he used to mark the launch of the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.
In the original tweet, Sir Richard said: “Wonderful to be in South Africa to help launch the new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship. We aim to become the heart of entrepreneurship for Southern Africa.”
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is for all South Africans, but yesterday’s choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies. I hope you will take a look at my blog which does far better justice to the amazing work of the Centre and its team.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) November 12, 2019
Later, the honorary Maasai elder shared images that included a more diverse range of people.
A real #VirginFamily affair as we launched the Branson Centre at Mont Rochelle with the support of all the team, Virgin Active & Virgin Atlantic https://t.co/36za0EqhOr @BransonCentre @VirginActiveSA @VirginAtlantic pic.twitter.com/j8F9qqh51z
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) November 11, 2019
Following the criticism, Mr Branson wrote: “The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is for all South Africans, but yesterday’s choice of a photo to go with my tweet clearly lacked diversity. Apologies.”