Technology >> CEO Interviews >> July 27, 1998

Dirk I. Gates – Xircom Inc (xirc)

At the age of 22, JOHN BUHLER purchased his first business, a gasoline service station. In 1970, he bought Standard Gas Engine Works and sales tripled within a year. Expanding the product line was the next natural step. The company formed its Farm King division in 1973. In 1981, Mr. Buhler purchased Allied Farm Equipment's Winnipeg plant. In the years following, he became known as the 'turnaround king.' He acquired such troubled companies as Standard Industries in 1983, as well as Morden Fine Foods, Birchwood Furniture, Ideal Glass & Mirror, Greensteel Industries and Craftech Manufacturing. Mr. Buhler amalgamated all these companies in 1994 to form Buhler Industries, Inc., where he is Chairman, President and CEO. The company was then listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BUI). In Manitoba, the company is one of the largest employers and is the third largest manufacturer of farm equipment in Canada. Mr. Buhler oversees six highly modern manufacturing plants and six distribution centers, totaling over 1.2 million square feet and employing more than 1,000 people. He is an outspoken critic about the government becoming involved in business and believes that the government's role is to provide infrastructure that will allow businesses to flourish and that any form of government grant should be outlawed. Mr. Buhler was the recipient of the Manitoba Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1997 and was awarded Morden, Manitoba's Citizen of the Year award in 1998. He recently made a $3.5 million donation toward research in health care and continues to support several local charities. Mr. Buhler is past President of Prairie Implement Manufacturers Association, Regina and past Chairman of the Canadian Farm Industrial Institute, Toronto. Profile
TWST: If you would, give us a background sketch, a bit of an historical

summary on Xircom and then what you see as the company today.

Mr. Gates: Let me start by saying that during the course