Gordon Merchant Net Worth: Gordon Merchant is an Australian businessman who has a net worth of $570 million. He has risen to riches as founder and major shareholder of Billabong International, a global surf wear company. Born on January 28, 1950 in Western Australian, he grew up into a passionate surfer who would later translate his love towards the sport into profits. As inventive as he was, Merchant was the man behind the first leg-rope which keeps surfers from losing their boards. Next, he made a great breakthrough when he shaped a surfboard with a tucked-under edge. Also, he used his surfing experience, mostly in Maroubra, to develop a special ability to read weather maps in order to catch good surfing waves. It was in 1973 that Gordon teamed up with Rena Merchant to produce board shorts. Thus, they set up the origins of Billabong International Limited, a clothing company specialized in surf apparel products. Since its foundation, Merchant has been the brain behind the company's design, marketing and sponsorship. Focused on surf wear apparel, Billabong became an international brand and gained worldwide exposure in the 1980s. The popularity of the brand was also boosted with its promotion by professional surfers like Joe Engal, Luke Egan, Munga Barry, Ronnie Burns, and many others. By the 1990s, Billabong was considered the #1 Australian surf apparel companies and had consolidated in the international market. As of July 4, 2000, Gordon became Billabong's non-executive director and as of March 31, 2005, Merchant has been also serving as non-executive director of bio-plastic company Plantic Technologies Ltd. Thanks to his overall contribution to the manufacturing industry, Merchant was awarded Member of the order of Australia in 2010.
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