Gary commenced employment with Fisher & Paykel in 1960, initially in whiteware manufacturing at Mt Wellington. He then transferred to Sales and, from thereon, worked his way up the ladder into new roles and served in many other Divisions of the company.
Gary was appointed Managing Director of Fisher & Paykel in 1987. In 1989 he was appointed Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, a position he held until 2001, when he retired from executive duties. In November 2001 Fisher & Paykel Limited split into two separately listed companies, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Ltd, and Gary continues as Chairman of both companies, still maintaining a very active interest in both.
People working with Gary at Fisher & Paykel report that he is a great motivator, who has the ability to build a design culture around sustainable points of difference.
During Gary Paykel’s executive leadership period at Fisher & Paykel, the company was transferred from a local domestic appliances manufacturer and importer, into a truly global company - which today has a turnover of more than $NZ 1 billion, exports to more than 80 countries and employs in excess of 4,000 people worldwide.
Under Gary’s leadership, as well, the company developed a number of innovations that included in 1985, the ECS, or electronic control systems washing machine, which was launched after five years of intensive development. This washing machine no longer had the traditional gearbox of alternative models.
Other product innovations include the Respiratory Humidifier, from the Healthcare Company. Also, the DishDrawer, from the Appliances Company - which is not a dishwasher, but is a drawer that washes dishes. The DishDrawer has been a platform for entering the UK, European and Middle East markets.
What’s more, Gary is no idler as a sportsman. He completed the trans Atlantic leg of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World race on the boat ‘Fisher & Paykel New Zealand’, and is now a director of Emirates Team New Zealand.
DINZ applauds the F&P design values of style, integrity, care and innovation and we would also like to pay tribute to the fact that the company has certainly been an incubator for young designers, who have gone on to excel in the industry in NZ and overseas.