Friday 13 December 2019

Billionaire McMurtry to hand over €4bn Renishaw reins to his sales director

David McMurtry co-founded Renishaw in 1973
David McMurtry co-founded Renishaw in 1973

John Reynolds

One of Ireland's most successful entrepreneurs has announced that he will step down after 45 years in his role as CEO of the UK-headquartered precision-engineering and technology firm Renishaw, which he co-founded in 1973.

The billionaire inventor and engineer David McMurtry (77), a native of Clontarf, Dublin, will take on the role of executive chairman with responsibility for group innovation and product strategy. He is handing over the reins to his sales and marketing director, who will be the new CEO.

Under McMurtry, the company has become a FTSE-250 listed company worth over €4bn. His 36pc stake in the firm is worth about €1.5bn.

He and his co-founder, John Deer, used engineering know-how they took from their troubleshooting work on Concorde engines that Rolls-Royce was developing in 1972.

McMurtry invented a 3D measurement probe to measure fuel pipes on it and they started their own business making precision-measurement tools. Renishaw now employs more than 4,500 people around the world, including over 220 in Swords, north Dublin.

The new CEO is Will Lee, an Oxford University physics graduate, who has been with the firm for 20 years.

"I've worked with Will and watched his progress through the company over the years. I'm looking forward to working with him as executive chairman and supporting him in his new role. And I'm also looking forward to seeing the company thrive under his leadership," McMurtry said.

However, the stock market greeted the news with a 14pc drop in the share price as investors took profits after the shares had hit a record high earlier this week.

But the firm posted strong six-month interim results, with sales up 17pc and profits up 73pc.

It predicts full-year sales of between €660m and €695m, with profits of between €145m and €169m.

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business