18 September 1939 |
Springwood, New South Wales
Chairman: Harvey Norman Holdings
|Net worth||A$1.55 bn (2014 BRW)|
Gerry Harvey (born 18 September 1939 in Springwood, New South Wales) 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. 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. They partnered to open their first store in Sydney in 1961. The chain, which was called Norman Ross, expanded to forty-two stores with annual sales of A$240 million by 1979. The company 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.
In January 2011 Harvey was embroiled in a widely condemned campaign backed by a number of bricks and 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. Harvey subsequently said the report is a waste of time and money, and did not read it.
Thoroughbred business interests
Over the last decade he has become increasingly involved in breeding race horses and he owns Baramul Stud. 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 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.
- "BRW Rich 200 list 2014: 21. Gerry Harvey". BRW. Sydney. 27 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- Greenblat, Eli (29 May 2014). "Harvey Norman co-founder Ian Norman dies". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Carter, Bridget (31 May 2014). "Harvey Norman co-founder Ian Norman dies at 75". The Australian. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "Syd Morning Herald". 19 Dec 1981.
- "#13 Gerry Harvey". Forbes. 13 May 2009.
- Butler, Ben (5 January 2011). "Online GST fracas: Tax revolt swells". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Swan takes a potshot at 'whinger' Gerry Harvey". The Sydney Morning Herald. AAP. 23 December 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- 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.
- Bruce, Mike (8 January 2012). "Passions on the Field". The Sunday Mail. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Asia’s Power Businesswomen 2015". Forbes. 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
- "Charity a waste says billionaire". Brisbane Times. 21 November 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2009.
- Harvey, Gerry (2 December 2008). "Gerry Harvey hits back over homeless charity stoush". Herald Sun.
- "BRW Rich 200 list 2013: #24 Gerry Harvey". BRW. May 2013.