Nick, who has been described by many senior managers at Steel & Tube as a “giant of the steel industry”, was at the helm of S&T for 18 years before his retirement in 2009. By then, he had clocked up 42 years’ service in the steel industry, and a year later, in 2010, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business.
The man who stepped into the breach after Nick’s retirement, CEO Dave Taylor, says the company has been shocked and saddened by the tragedy, and thoughts are with Nick’s family.
“Nick’s journey through the steel industry was significant. Wellington Steel, which he founded with two partners in 1976 was a solid and successful company, and after it was bought by Steel & Tube, he stepped up as CEO and made a massive contribution to New Zealand’s steel industry during his tenure.”
At the time of his retirement, then Board Chairman Dean Pritchard said; “Relationships with unions, customers, suppliers, directors and staff have all been enhanced through Nick’s mixture of passion, negotiating skills, strategic insight, and compassion for fellow human beings, competitiveness, street smartness and decisiveness”.
Mr Taylor said Steel & Tube was today a market leader in steel distribution in NZ as a direct consequence of Nick’s vision and drive.