He quickly caught the attention of our founder, Dick Dusseldorp and by 1967, he was site manager at the Thredbo development. He then spent two years in Holland with Bredero’s, before returning to Australia as design manager in Brisbane, and project manager for the Railways development.
In 1974, he succeeded Iain Gould as Queensland Manager and a short time later, he was appointed Managing Director of Civil & Civic.
Four years later, at just 39-years-old, he became the Chief Executive Officer. He took the company Dick Dusseldorp created and led it to success after success. Under his leadership, our shareholder returns rose more than 20 per cent every year – Lendlease’s market capitalisation increased from $100 million to $10 billion.
Even though he was the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company that built high-rise offices and apartments, Stuart Hornery was not a fan of heights. Lendlease employee, Rocco Bressi, recalled taking the leader on a tour of 126 Philip Street construction site. “Stuart would not use the glass scenic lifts, so we travelled up the building in the enclosed goods lift. When we arrived at the upper most high-rise floor, he would not get close to the edge at all, he stood right back and sincerely acknowledged and praised the team’s efforts.”
Realising the direct link between employee wellbeing and community, in 1983, Stuart Hornery and Dick Dusseldorp started the ACTU Lend Lease Foundation – a program that is still running today. They set up 140 training companies around Australia, and worked with more than 50,000 companies to train more than 100,000 workers. Today, the Lendlease Foundation supports employees and their families, and continues to be something that makes Lendlease special.
1988 marked the year that Dick Dusseldorp announced his retirement and appointed Stuart Hornery Chairman of Lend Lease. In the same year, he was awarded the Order of Australia medal for services to the industry. In 1994, he became non-executive Chairman and was ABM Magazine’s Businessman of the Year.
Stuart Hornery, like Dick Dusseldorp, was a leader and an innovator – he said: ''Dare to be different…If it isn't broken, then break it.''
Before Mr Hornery retired, he wrote in a Lendlease publication: “…In my 36 years with Lend Lease, I have seen an enormous amount of change. The ability of the organisation, and its people, to embrace and drive change has always been behind our success,” he said.
Stuart Hornery passed away 31 December, 2012.
On Tuesday 30 May at Parliament House, Canberra, the man who led our organisation to many successes and is part of the reason that today we are a leading international property and infrastructure company, will be inducted into the Property Council of Australia’s hall of fame.
Malcolm Maiden, journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote in Stuart Hornery’s obituary: “In many ways he (Stuart) was ahead of his times: while he was in charge, Lendlease had flat management before the term was invented, no in-house legal department, no human resources bureaucracy and no organisational charts. Instead, it ran project teams, organised itself and the spaces it worked in to fit, and drove responsibility for ideas, revenue and earnings right down through the organisation. Hornery turned Lendlease into the business world's ''beautiful duckling'' – a unique corporate creature that frequently topped the ''most admired'' lists.”
Stuart Hornery you were a true leader not just for Lendlease but our industry.