Gerry Harvey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerry Harvey
Born (1939-09-18) 18 September 1939 (age 84)
Years active1961−present
Known for
  • Lynette Harvey
  • (m. 1988)

Gerry Harvey (born 18 September 1939) is an Australian entrepreneur best known for being the executive chairman of Harvey Norman Holdings, a company which runs Australian retail chain Harvey Norman. He co-founded it with Ian Norman in 1982.


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 for Goodwins of Newtown.[1][2] When he was younger, Harvey 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."

— Gerry Harvey

Harvey first met Ian Norman while both were working as door-to-door vacuum salesmen.[3] They partnered to open their first store in Sydney in 1961.[3] The chain, which was called Norman Ross, expanded to forty-two stores with annual sales of A$240 million by 1979.[3] This company was sold in 1982 to firstly Grace Bros. for $23 million, then was onsold to Alan Bond's Walton Bond company.[4] After that transaction was completed, Harvey was sacked via order from Alan Bond by John Walton. This action was spoken about in Harvey's first ad for his next venture.[5] Harvey, with Ian Norman as a silent partner, started Harvey Norman that same year through its first store in Auburn, NSW. It then expanded and now 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.[citation needed]

In 1999, Harvey partnered with George Goh Ching Wah of multi-national retailer Ossia International Limited to establish a $S33 million joint venture named Harvey Norman Ossia (Asia) to retail the Harvey Norman brand in Asia.[6]

In January 2011, Harvey was embroiled in a widely-condemned campaign, backed by a number of brick-and-mortar Australian retailers, to scrap tax rules that allowed Australians to shop on overseas websites without paying GST.[7] In response to the campaign, the Federal Government asked the Productivity Commission to investigate and report on the retail industry. Harvey subsequently said the report was a waste of time and money, and that he did not read it.[8]

Thoroughbred business interests[edit]

Over the last decade he has become increasingly involved in breeding with race horses, and he owns Baramul Stud. Harvey has one of the world's largest thoroughbred portfolio, with over 600 thoroughbreds in his stables. He also owns 50% of Magic Millions, one of the largest and most expensive thoroughbred auction events in the Australian racing industry.

Personal life[edit]

Harvey has two children with his first wife, Lynette.[9] He remarried to Katie Page in 1988; they have two children.[10] In 1999, Page became the CEO of Harvey Norman.[11]

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".[12] He later claimed the comments were taken out of context and he did give money to homeless charities, among others.[13]

In 2016, Harvey expressed contempt for what he saw as political uncertainty since John Howard left office, and said the only solution is "to have a dictator like in China".[14]

Net worth[edit]

In 2014, the Business Review Weekly (BRW) assessed Harvey's net worth at A$1.55 billion;[15] an increase of A$9 million on the 2013 BRW Rich 200 list.[16] From 2013 up to and including 2020, the BRW/Financial Review assessed Harvey's wealth as an individual. From 2021, the Financial Review assessed the combined net worth of Harvey and Page jointly.[17]

Year Financial Review
Rich List
Australia's 50 Richest
Rank Net worth (A$) Rank Net worth (US$)
2013[note 1][16][18] 24 $1.46 billion 28 Decrease $0.93 billion Increase
2014[note 1][15][19] 21 Increase $1.55 billion Increase 20 Increase $1.18 billion Increase
2015[20] 18 Increase $1.30 billion Increase
2016[21] 19 Decrease $1.35 billion Increase
2017[note 1][22][23][24] 21 $2.34 billion Increase 25 Decrease
2018[note 1][25] 28 Decrease $2.12 billion Decrease
2019[note 1][26][27] 40 Decrease $1.90 billion Decrease 32 Decrease $1.35 billion Decrease
2020[note 1][28] 31 Increase $2.57 billion Increase
2021[note 2][17] 28 Increase $3.20 billion Increase
2022[note 2] 32 Decrease $3.30 billion Increase
2023[note 2][29] 37 Decrease $2.91 billion Decrease
Icon Description
Steady Has not changed from the previous year
Increase Has increased from the previous year
Decrease Has decreased from the previous year


  • ^note 1 : 2013–2020 = BRW/Financial Review assessed the net worth of Harvey only
  • ^note 2 : Since 2021 = Financial Review assessed the combined net worth of Harvey and Page jointly


  1. ^ "Syd Morning Herald". 19 December 1981.
  2. ^ "#13 Gerry Harvey". Forbes. 13 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Greenblat, Eli (29 May 2014). "Harvey Norman co-founder Ian Norman dies". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Gerry Harvey's recipe for retail success". 30 October 1995.
  5. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "We're Gonna Beat Ya". YouTube.
  6. ^ "Harvey hits Asia with Ossia deal". Australian Financial Review. 7 October 1999. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  7. ^ Butler, Ben (5 January 2011). "Online GST fracas: Tax revolt swells". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ "Swan takes a potshot at 'whinger' Gerry Harvey". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australian Associated Press. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  9. ^ Cook, Craig (15 March 2013). "Harvey Norman co-founder Gerry Harvey is seeing the green shoots of the Australian economy". The Advertiser. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  10. ^ Bruce, Mike (8 January 2012). "Passions on the Field". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Asia's Power Businesswomen 2015". Forbes. 2015. Archived from the original on 28 February 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Charity a waste says billionaire". Brisbane Times. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
  13. ^ Harvey, Gerry (2 December 2008). "Gerry Harvey hits back over homeless charity stoush". Herald Sun.
  14. ^ "Bring in a dictator to govern - Harvey". Retrieved 12 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b "BRW Rich 200 list 2014: 21. Gerry Harvey". BRW. Sydney. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  16. ^ a b "BRW Rich 200 list 2013: #24 Gerry Harvey". BRW. May 2013.
  17. ^ a b Bailey, Michael; Sprague, Julie-anne (27 May 2021). "The 200 richest people in Australia revealed". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  18. ^ "2013 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  19. ^ "2014 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. January 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  20. ^ "2015 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. March 2015. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  21. ^ "Gina Rinehart Loses Her No. 1 Spot". Forbes Asia. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  22. ^ Stensholt, John, ed. (25 May 2017). "Financial Review Rich List 2017". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  23. ^ Mayne, Stephen (26 May 2017). "Mayne's take: The top 25 Australian billionaires, as claimed by Fairfax". Crikey. Private Media. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  24. ^ "Australia's Richest 2017: Country's Wealthiest Continue Mining For Dollars". Forbes Asia. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  25. ^ Stensholt, John, ed. (25 May 2018). "2018 AFR Rich List: Who are Australia's richest people?". The Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  26. ^ Bailey, Michael (30 May 2019). "Australia's 200 richest people revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  27. ^ "2019 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. January 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  28. ^ Bailey, Michael; Sprague, Julie-anne (30 October 2020). "The full list: Australia's wealthiest 200 revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 October 2020.
  29. ^ Bailey, Michael; Sprague, Julie-anne (26 May 2023). "The 200 richest people in Australia revealed". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 6 June 2023.

External links[edit]