Mr David Thodey is chairman of Australia’s national scientific research agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The CSIRO is Australia’s innovation catalyst, collaborating to boost Australia’s innovation performance. As set out in its Strategy 2020, the CSIRO creates benefit for Australia through impactful science and innovation. He is also chair of Jobs for NSW and on the Advisory Boards of SquarePeg Capital and UHG. Mr Thodey was chief executive officer (CEO) and executive director of Telstra from May 2009, until he formally retired from the CEO position on 30 April 2015.
He joined Telstra in April 2001 as group managing director of Telstra Mobiles and in 2002 was appointed group managing director Telstra Enterprise and Government. In this role, he was responsible for the company's corporate, government and large business customers in Australia and internationally. Before joining Telstra, Mr Thodey’s 22 year career at IBM comprised a number of senior marketing and sales positions including chief executive officer of IBM Australia/New Zealand.
He is an experienced board chairman and director. He has worked in Asia for over 25 years. Former board memberships include co-chair of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce of the B20 leadership group, and chairman of IBM ANZ, TelstraClear, Information Technology (IT) Skills Hub, Industry Groups and Basketball Australia. He was also on the board of the GSM Association, the global body of carriers and related companies that supports the standardisation and deployment of mobile technology around the world. He has extensive experience in information and communications technology (ICT), digital business, data services and digital services.
He is known as an inspiring leader who builds extraordinary teams and winning cultures by creating career opportunities that challenge, provide a strong learning environment, and enable top talent to have an impact. Mr Thodey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He attended the Kellogg School of Management Postgraduate General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA. He has taken part in a number of Harvard Education programs and IBM Executive Education programs.
In 2017, Mr Thodey was made an officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to business, notably to the telecommunications and information technology sectors, to the promotion of ethical leadership and workplace diversity, and to basketball. David Thodey is a compelling and content rich speaker with a wealth of business wisdom.