Gaston Glock, the incredibly modern genius behind the phenomena that is the Glock pistol, seems to have stepped into a hot mess in his personal life. For years, his wife, and children held positions in the company, but recently have been cut out, replaced by a much younger new lady. But the former Mrs. G isn't taking this lying down...and now the whole thing is going to the courts.
Best known for taking a small home-based business making curtain rods and knives and turning it into possibly the greatest firearms success story since Samuel Colt learned to count to six, Gaston Glock is the embodiment of late in life success. At age 52, he won his first firearms contract, making what was known in Austria as the P80 pistol for that country's small army. In winning the contract, he outperformed pistols from not only HK, Beretta, FN and SIG, but also Steyr, an Austrian household name that had been supplying that country's military small arms for over a century.
Taking the P80 pistol, rebranding it the Glock 17, Glock went after the US market with a vengeance starting in 1983 and the rest is history. Today Glock Ges.m.b.H. (trademarked as GLOCK) is headquartered in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria, and has subsidiaries in the US, Uruguay, Hong Kong, and the UAE. They have made millions of pistols and Mr. Glock remains at the helm as Executive Chairman.
(Mr Glock, left, and his first wife Helga, right)
For nearly thirty years, Glock's wife and three children were given varying levels of power inside the constantly expanding firearms company. Then, according to an by Paul Barrett in BusinessWeek, starting in 2010, Mr. Glock began to edge the family out of the business. By 2011, the marriage was over and Gaston, now age 82, married one Kathrin Tschikof, a 31-year old blonde who apparently had been his girlfriend for several years.
(Mr Glock and his new wife)
In late 2011, Gaston's now-ex-wife of 49 years, Helga filed suit in an Austrian court for what she felt was her share of the company. She claims that over the past several years Mr. Glock has moved money around, hidden assets, and transferred patents and intellectual property away from the company.
She is seeking 15% of the estimated $1.8 billion company.
Mr. Glock has no comment.