ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher to retire, cites tax laws as reason.

Press release from ARRL:

I found it somewhat surprising, since President Rick Roderick, K5UR recently dug in his heels when it came to league governance, citing a "misinformation campaign" which was really nothing more than members becoming rightly concerned about the move toward less transparency and the dilution of their vote.

Gallagher has often been subject to much criticism, and many have cited his leadership as part of the reason that the league is in such turmoil with membership lately. I am trying to keep neutral on this, and personally I do not know if he was directly responsible, but it would seem to me that all of these new moves toward reshaping the league started on his watch. So this is either a great coincidence or he is the one responsible.

Personally I don't care who is responsible, except for possibly removing bad actors from office in order put the brakes on any detrimental changes. That said, his departure is a welcome sign, but I take it with a grain of salt. There is much work to be done with the actual BoD, who actually hires the CEO.

On a side note, Gallagher blamed the newly enacted federal tax laws for the change, stating that it made it unattractive to work in Connecticut. I don't know his personal financial situation, and I don't live in Connecticut, but I do live in New Jersey. These two states are similar in that they both have high state and local taxes (SALT). The new law limits deductions for state and local taxes to $10,000. However, it seems too much of a coincidence, given all of the recent activity. I can't say for sure what his problem with the new federal tax law is, but based on my assessment of the law and its impact on residents of high tax states, I think that it was something given to us "to hold" and the real reason was the political climate at the league.

Either way, I wish Gallagher the best on his future endeavors and I hope that the league can find a suitable replacement. I also hope that every league member remains engaged as to what is going on with our league, because our hobby literally depends on it. This goes even for DX hams who are not members because of ARRL being the international secretariat of the IARU. Whether your interest is public service, DXing and radiosport, balloon flights, satellite operation, rag chewing, kit building and homebrewing, digital modes,  ATV, or any of the myriad of activities that the amateur service supports, you have a stake in this. We cannot allow the ARRL to fail, and it will fail only if we let it.


  1. I concur. I don't believe his resignation was primarily motivated by the changes to the tax code.

    Nice article, Ria. First time I've visited your site.


    Chris NU1O

  2. Good article Ria. I am trying to find out why John Gallagher left his highly profitable job as a Wall Street, New york derivative broker. He had worked for many well known banking firms and at least one LLC which "the public was not to be informed about". Did he become the ARRL CEO to escape Federal investigations that are still gong on? I don't think he left New York or Connecticut to avoid taxes. The reason might be much more complicated and not so coincidental. Wherever Mr. Gallagher went he was certainly not an amateur volunteer This fact alone may be the reason for his disputes with the ARRL's board. Mr. Gallagher may have been using his job at the ARRL as a tax deduction, while all of the ARRL volunteer folks can not do so since Amateur Radio has not been directly supported by government . It is a hobby. I may be wrong about Tom but I think T.O.M. (H.P. Maxim The Old Man) would have ousted Tom. Gallagher is a multi-millionaire. Will he leave anything to the ARRL when he expires?

    Respectful 73
    Bob Wexelbaum W2ILP since 1951


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