David Thodey named CSIRO chair

Former Telstra CEO David Thodey has been named chair of the CSIRO, effective from November.

The Australian reports that Thodey, who left Telstra in April after six years as Chief Executive, has been appointed to the CSIRO position on a five year term.

Thodey described the CSIRO as "an outstanding community of researchers and scientists" and said he felt privileged to join the organisation.

“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,” he said.

Industry and Science Minister, Ian Macfarlane described Thodey as one of the nation’s most respected businessmen.

“He 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,” Macfarlane said.

“We know that capitalising on our nation’s areas of competitive strength and securing the jobs of the future in the fast changing global economy will depend on lifting the rate of collaboration between industry and researchers."

CSIRO Staff Association Secretary Sam Popovski also welcomed the appointment

"CSIRO continues to suffer the effects of heavy cuts to funding, jobs and research. Alongside new Chief Executive Larry Marshall, the challenge for Mr Thodey is to provide leadership and repair confidence,” Popovski said in a statement.

"Staff morale at CSIRO remains low, with the workforce reeling from the loss of one in five jobs over the past two years." 

Image: CSIRO