Richard Branson is not stupid

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Richard Branson is not stupid. This should probably be self-evident, considering he's got himself an airline, a record label and, if told tales be true, a whole bunch of money.

So when he grounded Virgin Airways' flights for the New Year's holiday to give his employees the day off, I wrote a column to the effect that he alone had managed to turn the Y2K problem into a public relations triumph.

Last night I opened this week's issue of Time magazine and there was a letter from Branson to the editor. The letter objected to a recent Time article on Y2K that mentioned the fact that the Virgin fleet would spend New Year's Eve on the ground. Branson's missive emphatically restated Virgin's Y2K position: It is giving its employees the night off to be with their families.

He's done it again. I'm telling you, Richard Branson is not stupid.

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