Tennis Australia re-elects Diane Grady and Mark Da Silva

27 December 2021 4 min. read
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The Tennis Australia board will continue to benefit from the expertise of ex-management consultants, with the re-election of Diane Grady and Mark Da Silva as directors for another term.  

The board of Tennis Australia has re-elected three of its directors – Greg Hutchinson, Mark Da Silva, and Diane Grady, the latter pair who have a background in the consulting industry. Led by former Bain & Company senior partner and current Virgin Australia boss Jayne Hrdlicka since 2017, the Tennis Australia board has a wealth of management consulting experience it can tap into.

“Through hard work, creative problem solving and sheer determination, our sport has not merely survived the uncertainty and lock-down challenges of the pandemic but emerged in a position of renewed strength,” Hrdlicka said at Tennis Australia’s recent annual general meeting. “During one of the most difficult times at a grassroots level in sport generally, tennis emerged as the fastest growing sport in the country, in spite of the many disruptions created by the pandemic.”

Tennis Australia re-elects Diane Grady and Mark Da Silva

Diane Grady, who is an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO), is also currently a non-executive member on the board of Grant Thornton. Previously, she was a partner at McKinsey & Company, the first female to be elected to its global partnership outside of the US. Over a 15-year stint at the firm, she led McKinsey’s global Organisation & Change Management group and headed up the management consultancy’s consumer goods, retailing, and marketing practice in Australia.

Another of the returned Tennis Australia directors is Mark Da Silva, who currently serves as a senior director of corporate governance with the ACT government, before which he was the director of strategic development and operational programs for WorkSafe Victoria. Earlier in his career, Da Silva was the management consulting business unit manager for Melbourne-headquartered risk management, OHS, and sustainability consultancy Greencap.

In addition to Tennis Australia chair Hrdlicka’s more than a decade and a half at Bain, several members of the organisation’s executive team also boast a background in management consulting. Appointed last year, Chief Strategy & Performance Officer Tim Jolley spent over a decade with Bain between the UK and Sydney, while Cedric Cornelis, recently installed as Chief Commercial Officer, worked as a consultant at both Bain and Ernst & Young in Brussels.

“Our teams continue to work tirelessly to deliver better outcomes for coaches, clubs, players and officials nationwide,” concluded Hrdlicka. “Creating a playful world through tennis is at the heart of everything we do and while the past year has challenged, it also supported the development of strength and unity – a winning combination as we focus on a future in which more people experience the many benefits of our sport.”

The appointments come within a month of the start of the Australia Open, Australia’s flagship tennis tournament and one of the four Grand Slams. At the time of writing, it is still unknown if defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic will participate in the 2022 Australia Open, with long-time arch-rival Roger Federer ruled out due to injury. Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s entry has been thrown into fresh doubt following a positive Covid-19 test.

Tennis Australia is far from alone in recruiting former consultants to high-level leadership positions, with Australia’s two other most popular sports likewise stacked with advisory experience. Until recently, three of the AFL’s traditional powerhouses were chaired by consultants, including ex-PwC boss Luke Sayers at Carlton, while Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, a former assistant director at PwC, is joined by a number of other Big Four alumni on the board.