Jack Cowin

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Jack Cowin
Born1943 (age 76–77)
Executive Chairman of Competitive Foods Australia
Known forFounder of Hungry Jack's
Net worth

Jack Cowin (born 1943) is a Canadian-Australian businessman who owns Hungry Jack's, the Burger King franchise in Australia[3] and is the Executive Chairman of Competitive Foods Australia, one of the country's largest privately held businesses.[4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1943, his father had been posted to Australia briefly by Ford and later encouraged his son to consider emigrating there.[3]


He became an insurance salesman with London Life for four years in Toronto before deciding to visit Australia to assess some business opportunities. Seeing long queues at a Chinese takeaway restaurant while vacationing in Sydney, he became convinced that fast food would sell well. He later returned to Australia to evaluate expanding KFC into the market that at that stage had limited fast food options.

He bought the right to open ten KFC franchises in Western Australia, raised $10,000 from each of thirty people to launch the business in December 1969, having moved with his wife and young child. Those who invested $10,000 then, had an investment worth around $8.9 million as of March 2006. After opening eight KFC outlets, he bought the rights to Burger King. Cowin later discovered someone else had the rights to the Burger King trademark in Australia, so Cowin instead called the outlets Hungry Jack's. Many years later he had a falling out with Burger King over the name and other issues related to their franchise agreement which was eventually resolved in his favour. He talks about this in an interview[5] for The Billion Dollar Secret book to which Cowin contributed.[6]

The business Competitive Foods Australia continues to be privately held by his family, with an estimated value of $350 million.[when?]

Cowin also owns Consolidated Foods, a meat processing business that exports throughout the world.[7] Cowin sold a substantial investment in Stanbroke Pastoral Company, one of the country's biggest cattle station operators. Cowin is also an investor in the Lone Star restaurant chain in Canada.

Philanthropy, wealth, and personal life[edit]

Cowin was listed on the Australian BRW Rich 200 list at number 70 in 2008,[8] and 79 in 2009, and had an estimated net worth of A$486m[citation needed] and an estimated value of A$538m in 2010.[9] Cowin was ascribed a net worth of A$1.8bn (24th) in the 2016 BRW Rich 200.[10] Despite this, in 2017, he has been noted for his miserliness with regards to weekend worker penalty rates within Australia, regarding them as a "thing of the past".[11] In 2019 the Financial Review Rich List, the successor of the BRW Rich 200, assessed Cowin's net worth at A$2.79 bn; and was ranked as the 25th richest Australian.[1] Meanwhile, Forbes Asia assessed Cowin's net worth as US$1.7 bn in 2019; and he was ranked as the 23rd richest Australian by net worth.[2]

In September 2015, Cowin was named the 22nd Chancellor of the University of Western Ontario.[12] He made a donation to the University of Western Ontario to pay for the stands of the new football field, named after his father Stanley J. Cowin.

Cowin is an active member of the World Presidents Organization. He lives in Sydney with his wife, with whom he has had four children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bailey, Michael (30 May 2019). "Australia's 200 richest people revealed". The Australian Financial Review. Nine Publishing. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "2019 Australia's 50 Richest". Forbes Asia. January 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Story of a shattered life: A single childhood incident pushed Dawn Crey into a downward spiral | Vancouver Sun". November 24, 2001.
  4. ^ "Profile: Jack Cowin". Forbes. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
  5. ^ "DTube" Check |url= value (help). d.tube.
  6. ^ "The Billion Dollar Secret – 20 Principles of Billionaire Wealth and Success – by Rafael Badziag".
  7. ^ Mitchell, Sue (2015-12-17). "'Hungry' Jack Cowin's recipe for success". The Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 2020-01-07. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  8. ^ "Jack sells back Barossa corker". www.dailytelegraph.com.au. September 3, 2008.
  9. ^ "Sundae, bloody sundae". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 2016-06-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Mitchell, Sue (December 17, 2015). "'Hungry' Jack Cowin's solution to penalty rate stand-off". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  12. ^ Zollino, Olivia (September 10, 2015). "Western names Jack Cowin as 22nd chancellor". The Gazette. Archived from the original on 2020-01-07. Retrieved 2020-01-07.

External links[edit]