Millionaire property CEO slammed for saying unemployment needs to rise

Millionaire boss Tim Gurner is slammed where it hurts the most – on LinkedIn – for calling Aussie workers ‘arrogant’ – as his obsession with staying young by ‘biohacking’ is revealed

  • Gurner made controversial comments at property summit 
  • He has been heavily criticised online 

A millionaire property developer has been ridiculed on LinkedIn after controversially accusing Australian workers of becoming ‘arrogant’ after Covid.

Gurner Group CEO Tim Gurner, 41, sparked outrage on Tuesday when he said he wanted to see unemployment rise by 40 to 50 per cent.

The Rich Lister noted there had been a big shift in the attitude many Aussies had towards working since the pandemic, and said employees needed to remember they were lucky to be employed.

‘We need to see pain in the economy,’ Mr Gurner told the Australian Financial Review’s Property Summit.

‘We need to remind people they work for the employer, not the other way around.’ 

But many have taken offence to Mr Gurner’s comments, with the property developer now facing a mountain of scathing criticism online – particularly on corporate social networking site LinkedIn.

Ashadi Hopper, the director of digital advisory agency AH&O Advisory, called out Mr Gurner over his comments on needing ‘pain’ in the economy.

‘It certainly takes a special kind of genius to propose boosting the unemployment rate as the magic bullet for one’s own commercial woes,’ Mr Hopper said.

Tim Gurner has been attacked online after he told a property summit unemployment needed to rise by up to 50 per cent. Mr Gurner (above, sitting in an ice bath for a Forbes magazine cover) is a 'biohacker' who is reportedly obsessed with staying young, taking 50 to 60 pills per day

‘Honestly, how did we miss this masterstroke of economic strategy all these years? This intellectual giant should be handed a plum job at the RBA immediately.’

The CEO of an American-based edible cannabis business, Spence Rodgers, also erupted at Mr Gurner.

‘What words could I possibly use to describe someone so incredibly stupid, callous, fragile, and worthless?’ he wrote.

‘What could I possibly say to affect them and convince them they are rotten to the absolute core?’

Fellow businessmen have lashed out at Mr Gurner over his controversial comments, including CEO of an American-based edible cannabis business, Spence Rodgers

Ashadi Hopper, the director of digital advisory agency AH&O Advisory, called out Mr Gurner over his comments on needing 'pain' in the economy

The President of the Australian Medical Association, Professor Steve Robson, said Mr Gurner had made a ‘breathtakingly irresponsible statement’.

‘Unemployment is associated with a range of adverse health outcomes including suicide. I say this with some confidence having studied suicide and unemployment,’ he tweeted. 

Another Twitter user accused Mr Gurner of showing a ‘gross display of unbridled arrogance’.

‘The arrogance of Tim Gurner is truly gobsmacking, I watched it twice & still couldn’t believe what I was hearing!’ said another.

‘Maybe you should value your team’s labor. I hope everyone in your company watches this video and realises their labor isn’t valued,’ one person wrote.

Mr Gurner had told the summit he believed unemployment should rise by 40 to 50 per cent.

Mr Gurner noted there had been a big shift in the attitude many Aussies had towards working since the Covid pandemic, and said workers needed to remember they were lucky to be employed

A 50 per cent rise in the current 3.7 per cent unemployment rate to 5.6 per cent, would see, 275,000 Australians lose their job.

The Reserve Bank is expecting a 4.5 per cent jobless rate by late 2024.

Mr Gurner had taken particular aim at tradies claiming productivity had dipped since the Covid pandemic. 

‘People decided they didn’t really want to work so much through Covid and that has had a massive issue on productivity,’ he said.

‘Tradies have definitely pulled back on productivity. They have been paid a lot to do not too much in the last few years, and we need to see that change.’

A major issue in the workforce was employees feeling that their bosses were ‘extremely lucky’ to have them, Mr Gurner added.

He said that mindset needed to change noting many industries were already making major lay-offs, which was already helping to shift the ‘arrogance’ some workers had.

‘People are definitely laying people off and we’re starting to see less arrogance in the employment market and that has to continue because that will cascade across the costs balance,’ he said.

Mr Gurner runs a company which has a development and management portfolio worth $9.5billion. 

This year he came in at 192 on the Rich 250 list, with an estimated net worth of $677million.

He declined to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia. 

Tim Gurner the biohacker 

While building his property empire, Mr Gurner has also dedicated a lot of his time to ensuring he is as physically and mentally healthy as he can be.

Biohacking, as it’s known, is when a person adjusts their body’s physiology and chemistry by making changes to their lifestyle and diet.

Mr Gurner is constantly having tests done on his body to check if he is low in anything, and has tried just about everything under the sun to boost his health.

‘Anything that is out there, I’ve done it. From micro-dosing mushrooms to infrared saunas, to steam baths and Oura rings… lymphatic drainage … everything. I want to try everything and see what works for me,’ he told Forbes in November last year. 

Oura rings track things like sleep, exercise, heart rate, body temperature, and can even sense when a person is feeling stressed.

He has a personal trainer and life coach, a mindfulness coach, an executive coach, and a strength and conditioning coach.

Mr Gurner recently opened a private social club with memberships ranging from $150 to $450 a week

He takes supplements, does pilates and yoga, infrared saunas, ice baths, and hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

His love for health and wellbeing culminated in his creation of a new private social club, Saint Haven.

With membership fees ranging from $150 to $450 a week, the club has a range of gym equipment, and offers red light therapy, saunas, oxygen chambers, IV drips for hydration and even a cycle class curated by a Tour de France winner.

The first Saint Haven club opened in Collingwood, in Melbourne in May, with memberships already selling out.

Mr Gurner has plans to extend the brand in other sites around Melbourne and Sydney.

The exclusive wellness club also has an in-house restaurant, as well as a concierge that can iron your clothes and polish your shoes while you’re inside.

Mr Gurner’s fitness journey started in 2016 after his father died from cancer, and he was on the cuspe of financial ruin.

‘I get about 250 different tests of my bloods which will say, ”this month you’re deficient in [vitamin] D, your testosterone is up or down”. Then the physios, dieticians, doctors on call set my regime,’ he told the Australian Financial Review earlier this year. 

‘I take about 50 or 60 tablets a day. It’s always very specific to my latest results.

‘We want you to live to 100 but not just live to 100 – but live to 100 feeling amazing, that’s the aim.’

Mr Gurner made headlines back in 2017 when he told 60 Minutes that millennials had unrealistic spending habits and famously suggested they stop eating smashed avocado if they wanted to buy a house. 

‘When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,’ he said.

‘The expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day, they want travel to Europe every year. 

‘This generation is watching The Kardashians and thinking that’s normal – thinking owning a Bentley is normal.’

Mr Gurner famously caused controversy in 2017 when he said millennials needed to stop wasting money on smashed avocado if they wanted to buy a home

His comments caused outrage among Generation Y, with many claiming Mr Gurner was only successful because his grandfather lent him $34,000 for his first investment.

The multi-millionaire hit back, claiming it was ‘incorrect’ he had help getting on the property market.

His first investment property was a flat purchased by his boss for $180,000 in Melbourne’s St Kilda.

He said he was offered to carry out renovations while his boss forked out the money.

‘I spent every night on my hands and knees sanding back the floors, painting, renovating and working on the house. When we sold it, I used the small profits of $12,000 to purchase my next property and it all grew from there,’ he told at the time.

‘I sacrificed a huge amount through those years, working multiple jobs, seven days a week and I saved absolutely every penny that I could.’

He said he used the $12,000 – plus a $34,000 loan from his grandfather – to borrow $150,000 to buy a gym, which he renovated and turned into a thriving business.

He ran the gym for 12 months before selling it to a competitor and starting his career as a property developer, founding his company Gurner in 2013.


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