John Ilhan Dead at 42

Submitted by Marco on 23 October, 2007 - 13:20

John Ilhan

John Ilhan has died of a suspected heart attack during his morning jog in Brighton, a beachside suburb of Melbourne around 5.30am this morning. Ilhan was 42. John Ilhan was born in Yozgat, Turkey, in 1965, before moving with his family to Melbourne when he was three. He started his own mobile phone shop in 1991. Ilhan grew up in Broadmeadows near the Ford plant in Melbourne's north-west and worked briefly as a salesman at the company — also studying at university and playing in the former National Soccer League — before taking a job with Strathfield Car Radios. The businessman left to set up his own business in inner-city Brunswick and quickly expanded the business to become Telstra's largest independent mobile phone dealership with 600 staff. Crazy John's has more than 120 stores nationwide and turns over an estimated $400 million a year. John Ilhan was ranked 1st in Business Review Weekly's Australia's Young Rich List 2003, with a fortune of $200 million. In the 2007 Rich List, Ilhan came in as the 126th richest man in Australia with a fortune of $310 million.

"This is a tragic day. John was an inspiration to everyone who ever knew or worked with him," said Brendan Fleiter, Crazy John’s Managing Director. "He grew a business from nothing to become the biggest independent mobile phone retailer in Australia. John was always a big thinker, the difference was he always achieved what he said he would do."

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