David Thodey AO


David Thodey AO is an Australian business leader with global experience, who is shaping Australia’s business and public policy agenda. He is currently the Chairman of Tyro, Australia’s only independent EFTPOS banking institution, and Xero, a cloud based accounting software provider for small and medium sized businesses. He is also a Director of Ramsay Health Care, active in a number of not-for-profit organisations, and is an advisor on multiple State and Federal Government initiatives.

Born in Perth, David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University of Wellington, and attended the Kellogg School of Management postgraduate general management program at Northwestern University in Chicago. From there, he held several senior executive positions in marketing and sales within IBM Australia/New Zealand and across IBM Asia Pacific, including holding the position of managing director for Australia between 1999 and 2000. 

In 2001, David joined Telstra as group managing director of Telstra Mobiles, where he would eventually rise to become CEO in 2009. In 2015, he retired from his position in Telstra, taking on a chair position on the CSIRO board of directors. In 2017, David was appointed an Officer 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,” a sport he has keen interest in, having served as Chairman of Basketball Australia. 

David received an honorary Doctorate in Science from Deakin University in 2016 and an honorary Doctorate in Technology from the University of Technology in 2018. In the same year, the former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced that David would chair an independent review of the Australian Public Service. The review was completed in 2019 and included 40 recommendations, most of which were accepted in full, or in part. In 2020, he chaired the Federal Financial Relations Review for the NSW Treasurer, and was the Deputy Chair of the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission.

Check out David’s session “Global Competitiveness in the Age of Disruption – Staying on top of the Game” at the 2016 Advance Global Australian Summit.