Leadership

Billionaire Richard Branson: Trump presidency is 'potentially horrific'

Richard Branson
David Orrell | CNBC
Richard Branson

Richard Branson, founder of The Virgin Group, struggled for words when asked to weigh in on the results of the U.S. election.

"I mean look, it's very sad, very frightening, very worrying," Branson said at an event held by Quartz.

The billionaire lives on Necker Island, which is part of the British Virgin Islands. He said that he has received hundreds of emails from worried employees, some of whom are asking how they can join him.

They aren't kidding, he added.

"It's pretty terrifying when you throw out the list of all these issues," he said. "Global warming could be set back almost irreparably. And universal healthcare, that could be set back almost irreparably — help with refugees, all these issues, gay rights."

"We have a potentially horrific situation ahead of us," Branson said.

He called Trump's team "a fairly strange group of people moving into the White House."

Richard Branson speaks with Kevin J. Delaney, editor in chief and co-founder of Quartz.
Jonathan L. Smith, jlsphoto.com
Richard Branson speaks with Kevin J. Delaney, editor in chief and co-founder of Quartz.

Branson's worries for U.S. business under Trump were a bit less severe.

"I think business may not do so badly, because if anything he should be able to get the right business people to run the economy ... and hopefully won't bankrupt it over the next three or four years," Branson said.

However, he added that companies could suffer if Trump's officials limit the flow of people across U.S. borders.

He called on business leaders to join forces and start working on the issues they care about.

"I think business leaders need to get together and say we need to form organizations to practice what we preach," Branson said.