ABC appoints Dharma Chandran as chief people officer

26 September 2021 2 min. read
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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has appointed experienced HR consultant Dharma Chandran as its new Chief People Officer.

Chandran brings a wealth of local and international HR consulting experience to the role, including previous stints at KPMG, Ernst & Young, McKinsey, and Willis Towers Watson predecessor Towers Perrin. He will take over from Monica Vagg in the second week of October.

“I am pleased to welcome Dharma to the ABC to lead the People & Culture division,” said ABC Managing Director David Anderson. “Dharma’s substantial human resources expertise will be invaluable to the national public broadcaster, particularly as we emerge from the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. The ABC’s workforce is its most important asset and Dharma will play a key role in supporting and advising our people.”

Dharma Chandran, Chief People Officer, Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Kicking off his human resources career with TASA Executive Search in Sydney in 1991, Chandran would then join Cullen Egan Dell (later part of Mercer Management Consulting) before crossing to McKinsey & Company on the back of a Masters of Commerce in organisation and management with the University of New South Wales (complementing an earlier law degree with the same institution, with a focus on corporate, commercial and tax).

At McKinsey, Chandran served as Staffing, Performance & Reward Manager for Oceania, before taking up a position as the Southeast Asia director of HR based out of the management consulting firm’s Kuala Lumpur office. Stints as Asia Pacific M&A practice leader for Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt) and Financial Services practice leader for Towers Perrin followed, before a return to Australia as a HR and Strategy leader with Westpac.

Since then, Chandran has served in senior leadership roles with two of the Big Four; as Managing Partner of EY’s Far East Area Performance & Reward practice based out of Hong Kong, and as National Partner in Charge of KPMG’s Australian People Advisory Practice. He also served as a senior advisor on strategic initiatives for the practice, including on the firm’s acquisition of leadership and executive remuneration advisory 3 Degrees Consulting.

He joins the national broadcaster after the past two years as a partner with the Australian leadership consulting practice of international executive search firm Boyden. “I am privileged and honoured to be appointed to this role within the ABC, an organisation I have admired for a long time,” Chandran said of his fresh challenge. “I am looking forward to working with all of my new colleagues and to making a significant contribution to our future success.”