HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND – As the privately-owned technology company Gallagher celebrates 80 years in business, it today announces plans for the future.
After a remarkable career of more than 50 years as Chief Executive Officer, Sir William Gallagher has announced his intention to retire in the next two to three years and to become an Executive Director for the company at that time.
To prepare for the leadership transition, the company’s Board of Directors has looked at how it builds strong governance to support the eventual appointment of a replacement and has appointed current Deputy CEO & Executive Director Steve Tucker, who has been with the company for nearly 25 years, as Executive Chairperson effective 1 April 2019.
Filling Mr Tucker’s executive management position will be the company’s current Global General Manager for Security, Kahl Betham, who has more than 20 years’ experience with the company.
Sir William says that while slowing down isn’t the plan, at age 77, the time feels right to begin the hand over to the next generation of leadership.
“My father, Bill Gallagher Senior, who in 1938 wouldn’t have believed what we’ve achieved would be possible, really was the one who started what has become a company full of people with innovative minds who work to solve problems,” he says.
In 1962, after Auckland University, Sir William joined his father’s company. From there he grew the company to an organisation delivering a visionary alternative to conventional fencing into one renowned for technologically superior, highly intelligent and fully integrated animal management systems.
“A real highlight were the years 1971 to 1977,” Sir William says. “It was a huge period of transformation and growth where we went from being a small family operation to an expanding exporter and over three years even doubled our size each year.”
He says the company used that success to build the business further.
“Using our experience in electric fencing technology, we developed two additional business units – Security, and Fuel Systems - by purchasing a company called PEC in 1999 which developed access control and fuel dispensing terminals, and that really would be another one of my top career highlights,” Sir William says.
He explains his overall career highlight is seeing where the company is today with 1200 employees worldwide and product in 160 countries.
“I’m extremely proud of our people who have made our success possible and I’m certain that there will be another 80 years of successful history to come. I’m looking forward to being part of that, both while I remain CEO, and into the future too.”
Mr Tucker says Sir William will always have a lasting legacy at Gallagher.
“Sir William’s decision will in a few years cap a career of outstanding leadership and business acumen,” he says. After more than 25 years with the company, Mr Tucker plans to take on additional independent director roles for which Gallagher will continue to enjoy mutual benefit.
“I’ll miss being with the team at Gallagher every day as it’s been a big part of my life, but my new position as Executive Chairperson will next year see me in the office for a period of time every week so I’ll look forward to continuing working with Sir William, Kahl, and the Gallagher team,” Steve adds.
Incoming Deputy CEO Mr Betham joined Gallagher in 1997 and brings to his new role a broad range of experience, gained through a number of roles spanning software engineering, business analysis, market research, product development and, most recently, the general management of the company’s Security business unit teams.
“I’m proud to be part of this global success story that puts people and enduring relationships at the centre,” says Mr Betham. “We have a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, a strong global team, and an ambition to continually evolve to meet the needs of our customers, business partners, and the community.”
The family owned and operated company was founded in 1938 by the late Bill Gallagher Senior and is headquartered in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Eighty years ago, Gallagher was a 10-person business which designed and delivered New Zealand’s first electric fence solution. Today, the company is delivering world firsts through three business units and employs 1200 people across a global network in eleven countries.