The Australian Information Industry Association has appointed government relations veteran Simon Bush as its next chief executive officer.
Mr Bush, who is currently head of policy and advocacy at the vendor-led peak body, will take up the top job from September 16.
The government relations veteran of 20 years replaces outgoing chief executive Ron Gauci, who will have spent almost four years in the role when he departs next month.
With three years as head of policy and advocacy at the AIIA under his belt, Mr Bush comes to the role with a broad knowledge of the technology industry and established government relationships.
He has been influential in driving AIIA’s policy, including the recommendation that a ministerial role for the digital economy be created within government.
Prior to joining the AIIA in September 2019, Mr Bush was the chief executive of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association and was corporate affairs director at Accenture before that.
He previously served as a senior policy advisor to a federal Cabinet minister in the 1990s and founded his own consulting firm in 2003.
AIIA chairman Robert Hillard said Mr Bush was appointed after a “thorough and exhaustive process” to find the next chief executive.
“Our board is proud to have found such an outstanding leader for the organisation within our own ranks,” he said.
“Simon has proven his adaptability and strengthens in his time with the AIIA; his hard work and influence has delivered significant policy reforms for our sector.
“Simon’s experience with government and ability to engage our members to drive meaningful change has been extremely demonstrated.”
Mr Hillard thanked Ron Gauci for his “tireless work” during his time at the AIIA, with the membership base now twice as large as when he joined the association.
“The past couple of years has offered many challenges to all organisations, yet Ron leaves us with a strong membership base and a sector benefiting from his leadership,” he said.
“Ron has more than doubled the membership of the AIIA in his tenure, led the call for major policy change and delivered excellent opportunities for our members.”
Mr Bush said he was proud to be appointed CEO and is looking forward to “growing the strong legacy the AIIA has built over the last 45 years, at a time when innovative technologies have never been more important”.
“Having met with many of our members in my time with the AIIA, I’m excited to represent and work with them to grow our industry and continue to seek the acknowledgement our sector deserves,” he said.
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