Ex-Telstra CEO, David Thodey, has landed himself a role at CSIRO. From November, Thodey will serve as the chairman of the CSIRO Board under a five-year tenure.
The appointment follows the news, in late February, that Thodey was stepping down from his Telstra role after almost six years at the helm. He formally retired from the CEO position on April 30.
Former AXA chief executive and Telstra chief financial officer, Andrew Penn, replaced him in that position.
Prior to Telstra, Thodey had a 22-year career with IBM, working in senior marketing and sales positions, including the role of CEO at IBM A/NZ.
He is also on the Board of the GSM Association and has more than 20 years' experience working in Asia.
Former board memberships include co-chair of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce of the B20 leadership group, and chairman of IBM A/NZ, TelstraClear, Information Technology (IT) Skills Hub, Industry Groups and Basketball Australia.
CSIRO said, in a statement, that Thodey’s experience as a board chairman and senior executive, and expertise in management, corporate and government relations, information and communications technology, and sales and marketing will help him in his new role.
“I feel privileged to be asked to contribute to the future of the CSIRO. We, as a nation, have an important opportunity to collaborate across the research community and industry to improve Australia’s global competitiveness. This is essential for the future of our country.
“Consistent with the new CSIRO vision, I hope that the CSIRO can be a catalyst for innovation across key focus industries and the wider community. We must make sure that Australia remains a global leader in the areas of science, research and industry innovation,” Thodey claimed.
Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane, said the appointment is more evidence of the Australian Government’s clear strategy to put science at the centre of industry policy.
“Thodey will bring a wealth of industry acumen to Australia’s peak science agency as it plays an increasingly central role in maximising our economic opportunities and industry growth.
“The Australian Government has set out a clear pathway to ensure our nation’s best researchers and our nation’s most productive industries can work to mutual advantage by making the best use of our $9.7 billion annual investment in science and research,” he said.
Macfarlane added CSIRO is at the heart of this process and Thodey’s appointment to work alongside the nation’s scientists will further enhance its record on collaboration and commercialisation.
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He claimed CSIRO will work with the new Industry Growth Centres, the refocussed CRC Programme and the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme to ensure an industry network that delivers outcomes for businesses – whether it be creating new jobs, sourcing new investments, linking with researchers or reaching into global markets.
“Thodey’s experience in building business networks will be valuable to CSIRO as it implements its new 2020 Strategy,” he said.