Gil Simpson

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Sir Gilbert Simpson KNZM QSM (born 1948) is a New Zealand businessman and computer programmer.

Early life[edit]

Simpson was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and raised in the Waikato. He attended high school in Christchurch and in 1967 began his career as a computer programmer, at age 18.


In 1969 he wrote the initial direct debit and direct credit applications which are in common use throughout the New Zealand banking industry today. By age 22 he was Head of Computer Programming at the Comalco aluminium smelter in Bluff, which at that time was the largest industrial project ever undertaken in New Zealand.

He returned to Christchurch around 1972, making it his home permanently. He lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, working as a programmer for Caterpillar Inc. between 1976 and 1978, after which he returned to New Zealand to develop a new concept in computer programming through his creation of the fourth generation language LINC, New Zealand's most successful software export to date. He has resided in Christchurch ever since, where there is now a street named after him Sir Gil Simpson Drive.[1]

Simpson is the founder of the Aoraki Corporation (later known as Jade Software Corporation),[2] developers of the LINC 4GL and Jade programming language [3], who are also well known for their past sponsorship of Christchurch's Jade Stadium. More recently he founded Jolly Good Software Pty Ltd in 2006.[4]

Simpson is recognised around the world as an advisor and speaker on Information Technology, particularly in the area of e-commerce.

Honours and awards[edit]

In the 2000 New Year Honours, Simpson was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to information technology, commerce and the community.[5] Later in 2000 Simpson was chosen to receive The New Zealand Computer Society's Supreme Award for the most outstanding contribution to computing in New Zealand in the 20th century. [6] In 2005 he was inaugurated into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame,[7] an honour reserved for business leaders responsible for outstanding contributions to the nation. In 2008 Simpson received an NZX Flying Kiwi Award and joined the PricewaterhouseCoopers NZ Hi-Tech Hall of Fame.[8] Simpson has also been a director on the board of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand,[9] as well as that of numerous other companies, both public and private.

With many outstanding achievements his profile in information technology has accorded him:

  • An honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury, D.Sc (h.c.)
  • Past presidency of the Royal Society of New Zealand,[10] of which he is now an honorary member
  • Chairman of the New Zealand government's E-Commerce Action Team[11]
  • Chair of the New Zealand E-Commerce Summit, 2000[12]
  • Chairman of the Christchurch City Mission
  • Associate membership of the New Zealand Business Roundtable [13]
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management,[14] and past membership on the NZIM advisory board
  • Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors[15]
  • Honorary Fellow of the Institute of IT Professionals[6]
  • Founding patron of the Royal District Nursing Service, Australia [16]
  • Outstanding Contribution to Technology and Business in New Zealand, New Zealand CIO Awards[17]

Personal life[edit]

Simpson is married to Joyce Adele, Lady Simpson, known as Joy Simpson. She has been active in community activities and fundraising since the 1970s, and has been described as one of the 50 most powerful people in Christchurch.[18] In the 2016 New Year Honours, Lady Simpson was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to philanthropy.[18]


  1. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  2. ^ "Aoraki christens Jade with $10m UK contract – Business – NZ Herald News". 2002-01-30. Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  3. ^ "Jade Software Corporation". Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  4. ^ "Jolly Good Software". Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  5. ^ "New Year honours list 2000". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 1999. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Honorary Fellows of the IITP (HFIITP)". About the IITP. Institute of IT Professionals of New Zealand. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  7. ^ [1] Archived April 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Flying Kiwis – HITECH Awards". Retrieved 2016-05-22.
  9. ^ "Sorry, the page you're looking for is not here" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-05-17. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  10. ^ "Home « Royal Society of New Zealand". 2013-10-11. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  11. ^ "ECAT Core Group Members". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  12. ^ "E-commerce summit attracts huge interest". 2000-08-16. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  13. ^ "NZBR : ASOS signs new logistics contract". Retrieved 2016-02-11.
  14. ^ "New Zealand Institute of Management homepgae". Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  15. ^ [2] Archived December 23, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "RDNS Patron's Council". Archived from the original on August 29, 2007. Retrieved March 22, 2008.
  17. ^ "CIO Awards 2019 – Winners & Finalists". Retrieved 23 June 2019.
  18. ^ a b "New Year honours 2016 – citations for Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 22 June 2019.

External links[edit]