Business Person of the Month

Business Person of the Month August 2022: Harry Hughes, CEO of leading workwear company Portwest

By Business & Finance
06 September 2022
Pictured: Harry, Cathal & Owen Hughes of Portwest

Harry Hughes is CEO of Portwest, the workwear company headquartered in County Mayo. He is the Business Person of the Month August 2022, in association with KPMG.

Harry Hughes is CEO of Portwest. Founded by Charles Hughes in 1904, Portwest is an industrial safety distributor that specialises in fire-resistant and high-visibility workwear, as well as personal protective equipment. They produce protective clothing for the mining, building and security industries. The company is one of the fastest-growing workwear companies in the world.

Hughes runs the company with his two brothers, Cathal and Owen. In an interview with the Irish Times, Mr. Hughes said: “I get on exceptionally well with them and there has barely been a cross word between us in 30 years. We’re lucky that we’re friends as well as being family and have different personalities and skillsets that complement each other.”

He currently employs over 4,500 people across the globe. The company operates global distribution from a network of bases in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Dubai, Australia and the USA, as well as manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, and customer support staff in over 120 countries.

On average, Portwest has approximately 1,200 products for sale per year. The brothers helped increase revenues from approximately €200,000 in 1979, to more than €140 million in 2016.

In 2020, Mr. Hughes and the team at Portwest led the response to COVID-19 crisis by shoring up the shortages of PPE clothing for frontline workers.

Portwest won the Circular Economy Award at the inaugural Business & Finance ESG Awards for extending control of operations across the supply chain and innovating in materials and products without compromising safety, comfort and brand. Henry Hughes, Director of Pricing and Planning at Portwest accepted the award on behalf of the company.

Read more:

Business Person of the Month July 2022: Marc Murphy, Co-founder & CEO of Fenergo

Business Person of the Month June 2022: John Goulding, Co-Founder & CEO, Workvivo

Business Person of the Month May 2022: Susan Spence, Co-Founder and President, SoftCo

Business & Finance, Business Person of the Month

Business Person the MonthBusiness & Finance, in association with KPMG, rewards excellence in business through the ‘Business Person of the Month’ award. This award seeks to recognise noteworthy achievements in business leadership, and, particularly, those that make a telling contribution to the wider business community in Ireland.