Outdoor Living Chief Hands Over His ‘Baby’ To Help It Thrive Further
Home improvement company Australian Outdoor Living is preparing to relocate to a new $5.2 million base at Regency Park after appointing its first chief executive.
Former business development manager Chris Taylor, who spearheaded much of the company’s growth interstate, will take over the reins from founder and director Colin Kuchel in a newly created executive team.
Mr Kuchel said the restructure would free him up to pursue growth opportunities for the company, both organic and by acquisition.
“This decision was a very big decision for me because you’re in essence handing over – this has been my baby for nine years,” he said.
“The appointment of an executive team is really to enable us to continue the growth but also to ensure that at the size we are we’re not losing sight of what’s important which is ensuring we’re operating correctly, statutorily, governmentally and with good workplace practices.”
The company has commenced manufacturing its range of PVC cafe blinds at its South Rd headquarters, which is being fitted our for the company’s office staff. A pool shop and display village is also planned for the site.
Last year, AOL expanded into Queensland and Tasmania and acquired concrete pools company Marlin Pools.
Its range of cafe blinds, artificial lawn, fibreglass and concrete pools, and other outdoor products earns the company close to $60 million in annual revenue.
Mr Taylor said plans to expand into the ACT later this year and into the NT early next year remained on track. That would give it a presence in every state and territory in the country. “It (company restructure) needed to happen for the growth of the business – we still see the vision growing,” he said. “I’m happy to step in and be hands on and I think that’s good for a CEO to be able to do that.”
“A lot of our success is due to the fact that we offer a lot of products – a one-stop shop for people when they want to renovate or upgrade their homes and that’s what a lot of people are doing.” Mr Kuchel said a new gas fire pit system, being trialled at his own home in the Adelaide Hills, would offer exciting growth potential and said he was also eyeing off a number of potential business acquisition opportunities.
AOL employs close to 300 staff nationwide and its executive team includes newly appointed chief financial officer Roger Duckworth.