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New SBS Chair appointed

16 July 20200 comments

Businessman and health services professional George Savvides AM has been appointed as the new Chair of the board of multicultural broadcaster SBS.

Mr Savvides was appointed as Deputy Chair in February 2017. He has extensive management and board experience working in business, government-owned and not-for-profit organisations.

Born in Sydney of Greek Cypriot parents, Mr Savvides moved to Melbourne with his family in 1992.

He has an honours degree in Industrial Engineering from UNSW and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Technology Sydney and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

In early 2020, Mr Savvides was made a member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the community, to charitable groups and to business.

During his service on the SBS Board, Mr Savvides has been Chair of the SBS Board Remuneration Committee, a member of SBS’s Community Advisory Committee, and served as Acting Chair of SBS from June 2020.

Earlier in his career he was local CEO at UK-based global medical supplies company Smith and Nephew and British Oxygen Corporation (BOC).

Mr Savvides led Sigma from being a private cooperative supplying pharmacists to an ASX-listed pharma group through six major acquisitions.

He was appointed to the board of Medibank Private as a non-executive director in September 2001 and was appointed Managing Director in April 2002.

Mr Savvides joined the organisation at a time when it was making a significant loss – $175 million for 2001-02 – but by 2004-05 he had turned that around to a record profit of $130.8 million.

He is a Councillor of the Australian Health Insurance Association (AHIA) and the International Federation of Health Plans as well as a Director of the Australian Centre for Health Research (ACHR).

Mr Savvides is also a Director of World Vision Australia and World Vision International. He chairs the Stewardship Committee and also sits on the World Vision International Executive Committee. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

On 21 October 2015 he announced his retirement from Medibank Private, to take effect at the end of March 2016.