A memorial service will be held in Melbourne today for entrepreneur John Ilhan, the multimillionaire founder of mobile phone dealership Crazy John’s.
The mobile phone magnate, whose rise to riches from migrant stock struck a chord with the nation, died from a heart attack while on a morning walk near his home in the southern Melbourne suburb of Brighton on October 23.
Ilhan, who was aged just 42 at the time of his death, is believed to have suffered from a hereditary heart condition.
His wife, Patricia told the Herald Sun newspaper the state coroner’s office found a blocked artery triggered a heart attack. “The coroner’s office is suggesting that it was hereditary…I’ve asked for more information because I definitely need to know for my children’s sake,” she said.
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Ilhan started Crazy John’s in 1991 with no stock, one shop and $1000, and by mid 2007 had amassed a fortune worth $310 million. The charismatic CEO generated remarkable loyalty from his customers and staff through his efforts to personally connect with people, a competitive advantage which he complemented with continual product innovation.
Before he passed away, the passionate businessman had just started to step back from his business and spend more time with his family.
Patricia and the father-of-four’s daughter Yasmin, 10, will speak at today’s public memorial, along with a raft of public figures including Victorian Premier John Brumby, Crazy John’s managing director Brendan Fleiter, Channel Nine’s Eddie McGuire and National Australia Bank CEO Ahmed Fahour. Vanessa Amorosi is also expected to perform.
Today’s service will be held at the John Batman Theatre at the Melbourne Convention Centre at 1.30pm (AEDT). The public are invited.
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