Founder and Chief Emotional officer of AmRest
Henry has earned his reputation as one of the leading entrepreneurs and most successful businessmen in Central Europe.
The founder and Chief Emotional Officer of AmRest, Henry is the embodiment of the “Wszystko Jest Możliwe!” (Anything Is Possible!) culture.
In 2008 “Forbes Magazine” named Henry one of the Top 5 business people of Poland.
Born in 1966, Henry showed interest in international markets and being an entrepreneur early on. Living in Germany with his parents for three years (1970-73) influenced Henry’s decision to return to Europe later in his life. For the first time he came back for schooling at Cloister Ettal in Germany. Back in the US again in 1980, at the age of just 13, he had his first opportunity to run a business – a tennis store in Westhampton NY. Eight successful years with Kimberly’s Tennis Shoppe, let Henry develop his retail and entrepreneurial skills.
His next business started in 1989, while attending Georgetown University. Metropolitan Properties LTD, a residential real estate development company, focused on the Georgetown area restoration of old homes. A year later Student Housing Association Inc. was founded to fill a niche that Henry had spotted in off campus housing needs for DC area Universities. Within three years SHA had become the largest provider of off-campus housing.
Deciding that business was a better direction than his current pre-med major, Henry left Georgetown for a Semester at London School of Economics where he met his future partner Donald Kendall Jr. Curiosity for what the fall of the Iron Curtain would mean, became an irresistible pull. Selling 50% of his DC real estate companies provided seed money for seeing what could be done in Central Europe. In May 1993 Henry moved to Poland and founded American Retail Systems. The company opened its first restaurant, Pizza Hut on Wroclaw’s Market Square, in November. ARS changed its name to AmRest in 1999 and has grown from one restaurant to be the region’s leading restaurant company.
Today AmRest Holdings S.E. is a leading restaurant company in Europe. AmRest is an operator of quick service and casual dining concepts, including such world class brands as KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Starbucks, La Tagliatella, Blue Frog, Bacoa and Sushi Shop across 26 countries.
The company’s hallmark is its unique high energy culture, built around the belief that “Wszystko Jest Możliwe!”. Since 2005 AmRest is a public company traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange and from 2018 also on the Madrid Stock Exchange (trade symbol at both: EAT).
AmRest has grossly outperformed the market, rising in value from $100 mill to over $3 billion since its IPO.
Henry McGovern is a father of three boys and a daughter and lives with his family in Wroclaw, Poland. He maintains his interest in real estate through Metropolitan Properties Investments. Mr. McGovern is also an active member of “Young Presidents Organization”.