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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Mike McGowan

The region head and CEO of Hilti North America talks about accelerating the rate at which technology is adopted, Hilti's latest innovations, and more.
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Mike McGowan’s first role with Hilti came more than 35 years ago as a sales associate. Last year, he was named to lead the Liechtenstein-based toolmaker’s North American operations from the company’s U.S. headquarters in Plano. McGowan counts the people with whom he works as his most trusted advisers. “No one has all the right answers,” he says. “I like getting as many different inputs as I can. A diversity of opinion always helps you choose the best path.” 


University of Maryland (MBA), Towson University (BSBA)

First Job

“I began my career with Hilti as a retail store sales associate in 1988. I learned so much in this role, including a few things that are still relevant today: the importance of understanding your company offering, truly listening, and remembering that your customer is always right.”

Industry Change

“If I could change one thing about our industry, it would be accelerating the rate at which it adopts technology to improve worker productivity.”

Best Advice

“Find something you believe in and stick with it.”

Nonprofit Cause

“I enjoy construction. So, Rebuilding Together, a nationwide nonprofit focusing on repairing homes and revitalizing communities, is a good fit. I was honored to recently join the board of directors. Its goals compliment another organization Hilti is partnered with, Habitat for Humanity, which concentrates on building new homes so that individuals can achieve generational change.”


“I enjoy CrossFit and paddleboarding.”

First Car

“When I was 16, I bought a used 1972 Mercury Capri for $400. I sold it two years later for $400.”

Bucket List

“I’d love to go surfing in Bali.”

Proud Moment

“Last year, we launched a revolutionary new cordless power tool platform. In short, it’s a battery platform that offers comparable power to corded tools and gas engines, which allows workers to complete the widest array of applications on one battery platform. These are intelligent tools with cloud connectivity. Every time you pull the trigger, the tool records information about location, usage, utilization, and battery health. This provides meaningful business insights that allow our customers to make informed decisions.”

Destinations of Choice

“Hawaii and Italy”

A Better Dallas

“I choose not to answer this question, as I respect the wise adage, ‘Don’t mess with Texas.’”

Pivotal Moment

“I once came close to drowning while surfing in big waves. It taught me to trust in God’s plan.”


“Everyone should read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It showcases the human ability to overcome odds with hope and forgiveness.”

Spirit Animal

“A dog, as they are exceptionally loyal.”

Alternate Reality

“I’d be a Navy pilot—teamwork, discipline, service, sacrifice, working for the greater good, and I’d get to fly jets.”

Biggest Risk

“Going surfing during a hurricane”

Key Strategy

“The one I value most is empowerment.”

Future Forecast

“I’m most excited about how technology will advance the entire construction industry.”


D CEO Staff

D CEO Staff

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