The Willie Haughey Story
There are not many Scots who have built a tiny business with only four employees into a global giant employing 11,000 people, but Glasgow-based entrepreneur Willie Haughey is one of them.
His company, City Refrigeration Holdings, has grown from humble beginnings in 1985, with a turnover of £100,000, to become the biggest privately-owned facilities management company in Europe with a turnover of £400 million.
And with exciting new developments in the Middle East and Australia, plus longer-term plans to break into the US market, Sir William confidently predicts that turnover will more than double over the next few years.
The Sir William Haughey success story reads like a business fairytale.
Sir William Haughey’s Background
A working-class Gorbals boy leaves school at 15 with no qualifications; serves an apprenticeship as an air-conditioning and refrigeration engineer; then sets up his own business with his wife Susan. Twenty five years later the business has gone global and established itself as the largest private employer in Scotland.
He has been decorated by the Queen, honoured by his native city and awarded an honorary doctorate by Glasgow Caledonian University. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, Sir William Haughey has a personal wealth of £50 million but, as you would expect, he never comments on media speculation about his personal worth.
The rise to the top, however, has not been without its obstacles. Like all highly-successful Scots, Sir William has had his fair share of critics and detractors, often misinformed by elements within the media.
As a high profile businessman, he accepts media scrutiny goes with the territory. Comfortable with fair criticism, he naturally gets upset when the coverage is untrue.