Twin brothers Mike and Geoff Howe have always been interested in building things. As Mike says, they were always “those kids in the back of science class, blowing things up and experimenting with different kinds of chemicals, trying to understand how things worked.” So as they got older, this passion for building things became their business, in Howe & Howe Technologies, Inc., a company that specialises in the design and manufacturing of extreme military-grade vehicles.
The company has sold world-class tracked vehicles to the US Defense, built extreme 4×4 fire trucks, and developed custom vehicles for Hollywood blockbusters like GI Joe 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road. It specialises in robotics, and has even created one of the world’s first off-road tracked wheelchairs. The brothers had their own TV show on the Discovery Channel that focused on their business, called Howe and Howe Tech: Black Ops Brothers. Mike and Geoff spoke to The CEO Magazine about how they run the company day to day, what their proudest achievements have been, and why they focus so much on philanthropy.
The CEO Magazine: What roles within the company do each of you hold and how do your talents and skills complement one another?
Geoff: What we have done here is really taken a look at how we work together as a team to instigate an outcome where the sum of our efforts is greater than their individual parts. When we first incorporated this business, our attorney asked us who was going to be the CEO. After looking at each other for a moment, Mike and I both said, “Well, we both are.” From then on, we have been equal partners. Technically, I am the CEO and Mike is the president, but we have equal ownership of this company. We basically split our responsibilities to make it function really well.
We are multifaceted in what we each do, but what we said was, “Let’s not step on each other’s toes, and let’s design a business model that will work for us.”