18 September 1939 |
Bathurst, New South Wales Australia
|Alma mater||Sydney University|
Chairman: Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd.
Gerry Harvey (born 18 September 1939) is an Australian entrepreneur best known for being the executive chairman of Harvey Norman Holdings Ltd., a large company which runs Australian retail chain Harvey Norman. He co-founded it with Ian Norman.
Gerry Harvey was born in rural New South Wales and attended school at Bathurst and Katoomba before moving to Sydney to go to university when he was 17, but he dropped out. He got his start early, selling vacuum cleaners and fridges door-to-door. When he was younger Gerry was determined to be a farmer. "I went to university for a couple of years and I didn't enjoy university. The studying and the accountancy, economics, I just hated that stuff. Now the irony is here I am lawyer, accountant, I do it all day every day and sit at a desk. So I've never ended up where I wanted to be in many ways. I always wanted to be a farmer."
The company also owns the retailers Domayne, and Joyce Mayne, along with numerous other, smaller businesses. Harvey adopts a very hands-on approach to his business, appearing as a spokesman during radio adverts for Harvey Norman. He frequently gives comment on economic and business matters in the national press and television media and has a sizeable public profile. He is generally regarded as a slightly maverick businessman and is often critical of Australian CEOs, particularly when it comes to remuneration. He often states that no one is worth the millions they earn and that if they think they are worth more, they can be paid in options and shares.
Gerry Harvey's net worth is estimated at $1.44 billion and is ranked at #24 of the richest people in Australia.
Over the last decade he has become increasingly involved in breeding race horses. He is now considered one of the largest breeders in the world, with over 600 thoroughbreds in his stables. He also owns 50% of the Magic Millions, one of the largest and most expensive thoroughbred auction events in the Australian racing industry.
In January 2011 Gerry Harvey was embroiled in a widely condemned campaign backed by a number of bricks & mortar Australian retailers to scrap tax rules that allow Australians to shop on overseas websites without paying GST.
In response to the campaign, the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to investigate and report on the retail industry. Gerry Harvey subsequently said the report is a waste of time and money, and did not read it.
In an interview in 2008 he described giving charity to the homeless as "a waste", and said that it was "helping a whole heap of no-hopers to survive for no good reason". He later claimed the comments were taken out of context and he did give money to homeless charities, among others.
- "#13 Gerry Harvey". Forbes. 13 May 2009.
- #24 Gerry Harvey. BRW magazine Rich200 2013.
- Butler, Ben (5 January 2011). "Online GST fracas: Tax revolt swells". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Charity a waste says billionaire". . 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- Gerry Harvey hits back over homeless charity stoush, Gerry Harvey, Herald Sun, December 02, 2008
- Entrepreneur Gerry Harvey - Gerry Harvey in conversation with Jennifer Byrne (audio available)