Gordon started his career in the private sector, managing a busy sales office for 10 years, with responsibility for exporting across the globe. By his mid-30s Gordon had moved into a major Belfast healthcare trust and headed up the Support Services division with responsibility for competitive tendering across three hospital trusts and with over 500 staff reporting to him. He brokered collective agreements between management and trades unions and made savings of c. £5m in contracted-out services.
In the mid 90’s Gordon returned to his native Craigavon to take on the role of General Manager of Craigavon Industrial Development Organisation where he set up the European Strategic Business Unit which generated over £1m worth of sales. He took up the role of CEO of Enterprise Northern Ireland in 2008 during which time he quadrupled the company’s reserves and grew the organisation into the voice of enterprise that it is today. He secured over £30m worth of contracts during his time at Enterprise Northern Ireland and brought Start Up Loans to Northern Ireland as part of the Prime Minister’s Economic pact in 2013. He also established the first ever All Party Group on SMEs at the Northern Ireland Assembly and was part of the team which achieved European Entrepreneurial Region status for Northern Ireland in 2015.
He set up Gordon Gough Consulting in 2018 to reflect the experience, insight and network he has within the business community in Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and internationally.
An MBA graduate from the Open University, he also holds an MSc in Human Resource Management and is a Fellow of the Institute of Consulting and a past Chairman of the Northern Ireland branch. He is also a member of the BBC Children in Need Northern Ireland Appeals Advisory Committee. He is currently a Governor of Southern Regional College and Chairman of the charity, Brain Injury Matters NI. He has a particular interest in economic development, enterprise, entrepreneurship and community regeneration, having worked with hundreds of business owners, charities and organisations across the UK, Europe, Australia and USA. Gordon has a number of advisory roles, including, judge for the British Chamber of Commerce & Industry Annual Business Awards; Strategic Adviser to the Northern Ireland Local Government Association and Economic Adviser to the Northern Ireland Assembly All Party Enterprise Group.