FORMER AAAA BOARD MEMBER TO BECOME CHAIR OF WD-40 GLOBALLY
Garry Ridge has been President and CEO of the company since 1997
US-based WD-40 Company intends to appoint Australian Garry Ridge as board Chair at the December 2019 annual meeting following current Chair Linda Lang’s decision to retire from the board of directors.
Garry currently serves as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and is a member of the board.
Linda has praised the company’s decision to appoint Garry.
“In considering my expected retirement, our governance and nominating committee has taken a thoughtful approach to naming my successor once I retire,” Linda said.
“Because maintaining WD-40 Company’s unique culture is a top priority, I can think of no one more qualified than Garry to take over as Chair.
“Garry has been President, Chief Executive Officer and a director of WD-40 Company since 1997 and is intimately familiar with all aspects of the organisation, its governance and its unique and valuable culture.”
Garry will continue to serve as the company’s Chief Executive Officer while Steve Brass has been appointed to the role of President and Chief Operating Officer.
Garry was born in the Sydney suburb of Five Dock and educated at Five Dock Public School and Drummoyne Boys High School. Industrious from a young age, he embarked on several jobs while still at school including paperboy, working on a milk truck, washing cars and working in the local hardware and sports stores.
“My first job after high school was as a Management Trainee at Waltons Stores Limited, a department store chain in Australia at the time,” remembered Garry.
“I didn’t really have a good idea of career direction; I followed the path as opportunities became apparent.
“After completing the management program at Waltons, I was appointed Department Manager at Waltons Bankstown, responsible for the Auto, Hardware and Sporting Goods departments. One of the suppliers was Quality Auto Accessories (QAA) and after a time I was asked to join them as a Sales Representative.
“QAA manufactured and sold a wide range of automotive products that included WD-40 and Armor All. The Australian licensee for WD-40 and Armor All was Hawker Pacific and I was offered a position with them as Sales Manager.
“I was promoted through several roles at Hawker to Division General Manager of their Consumer Products Division that merged with Mermax, the car seat cover manufacturer they acquired.
“I travelled to the USA to attend the annual sales meetings at WD-40 Company and in 1987, when the license was coming to an end at Hawker, WD-40 Company asked me to join them and open their Australian subsidiary to develop the Asian market.”
An enthusiastic supporter of the local industry, Garry served on the AAAA Board for eight years during the ’80s and ’90s.
In 1994 he was asked to relocate to the USA to head up the global business of WD-40 Company and in 1997 was named President and CEO.
Today, WD-40 Company markets its brands across 62 trade channels in 176 countries around the world. The company has significant plans for growth, with an FY 2025 Anticipated Revenue Target of US$700 million, up from Reported Revenue of US$408 million in FY 2018 and US$317 million in FY 2008.
To achieve this increase, the company has developed several strategies, including:
• Grow WD-40 Multi-Use Product sales to US$530 million in net sales through geographic expansion, increased market penetration and development of new and unique delivery systems – in a nutshell, more places, more people, more uses, more frequently.
• Grow the WD-40 Specialist Product Line to US$100 million by creating growth through continued geographic expansion as well as developing new products and product categories within identified platforms.
• Broaden the Product and Revenue Base to derive revenue from existing brands as well as from new sources and products. The company will continue to grow, nurture, develop or acquire products that fit well with its unique multi-channel distribution network, with the aim of generating US$70 million in net sales by the end of 2025.
For more about WD-40 Company, visit www.wd40company.com