CEO, Imperial Holdings, South Africa
2006 award winner
EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2006
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2005 South Africa
Arriving in South Africa in 1971 with just UK£2,000 and no job, Bill Lynch found work with Imperial Holdings as an admin controller. Applying the disciplines he learned growing up in poverty in rural Ireland to the loss-making car dealership, he led a turnaround. After buying a 10% share in Imperial, Bill led a diversification and growth strategy into truck and car rental, logistics and leasing. He became Executive Chairman in 1990 and guided the company through South Africa’s democratic transition era, when the country’s economic and political systems were widely expected to collapse. In 2006, Imperial Holdings employed 36,000 people on three continents and had an annual revenue of €6.5 billion across seven divisions.