Donald Friese

About Donald Friese

Birth Year: 1940
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, United States
Residence: Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, US
Occupation: CEO of C.R.Laurence Co., Inc.
Title: Founder and CEO of C.R.Laurence Co., Inc.
Spouse(s): Andrea Friese
Children: 3

Donald Friese

Donald Friese was born on 1940 in Los Angeles, California, United States. Donald Friese's fortune stems from C.R. Laurence, which manufactures or distributes more than 65,000 products for the glass industry. The company sells everything from frameless shower door hardware to display cases and cleaning supplies -- everything but the glass itself. Friese grew up poor in rural Pennsylvania, and enlisted in the Army straight out of high school in 1958. Three years later he moved to California with $125 in his pocket. He landed in the warehouse of C.R. Laurence, which was just a small distributor of supplies, as employee number six. He climbed the ladder, steadily amassing equity in the company until he owned 100%. He expanded by purchasing competitors and moving into manufacturing. In August 2015, Friese sold C.R. Laurence to Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope, a subsidiary of Irish building-materials conglomerate CRH for $1.3 billion. Out of his proceeds from the deal -- about $885 million after taxes -- Friese gave his employees $85 million. All 1,600 of the employees who had worked for the company for than a year got a bonus check -- some got more than $1 million. Despite cashing out, Friese continues to run the company's day-to-day operations. He works 12 hour days during the week, plus a half-day every Saturday.
Donald Friese is a member of Manufacturing

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Donald Friese was born in 1940 in York, Pennsylvania, the third of 13 children. After his high school graduation, he joined the U.S. Army in 1958, trained as a missile mechanic, and was stationed in Taiwan and Okinawa.


Friese started at C.R. Laurence in Los Angeles, which then had just one location, with an "entry-level job", as its sixth employee. A few years later, Bernie Harris, the owner, sold him a 10% stake, and he gradually acquired more, eventually buying Harris out when he retired. When Harris retired in 1997, he bought the 50% he did not already own.


In 2015, he sold the company to the Irish conglomerate CRH plc for $1.3 billion cash, retaining most of the real estate and continuing as CEO. It was reported that Friese made $885 million from the sale of the company.


Friese has been married to Andrea for 53 years (as of June 2017), and lives in Chatsworth, Los Angeles. They have a weekend house in Malibu. They have three children.

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