Boyden Executive Search

Michael Ebeid AM, CEO & Managing Director of SBS and 2017 CEO of the Year, drops into the pod to talk about, his career journey, the importance of culture and purpose in leading a business, and the instrumental part he played in bringing the 2018 FIFA World Cup to our screens.

By Allan Marks

Michael Ebeid AM, CEO & Managing Director of SBS and 2017 CEO of the Year, drops into the pod to talk about, his career journey, the importance of culture and purpose in leading a business, and the instrumental part he played in bringing the 2018 FIFA World Cup to our screens.

As one of Australia’s foremost leaders and role models in the media and communications sector, Ebeid is currently the longest serving CEO of any free-to-air network in Australia, having joined SBS in 2011. SBS has since made significant strides, with revenue doubling under Ebeid’s stewardship and lucrative properties like the Tour de France and the FIFA World Cup secured on long-term deals.

While his career may have started off in humble fashion (with Ebeid’s first job being in his local supermarket, as is the case with so many), a formative period in IBM’s graduate programme led to a decade long stint with the technology giant. From here, Ebeid joined the then-unknown Optus, eventually taking over its pay TV arm, which was his pathway into the media industry.

An accomplished business leader, Ebeid puts his success at SBS down to the culture change that he prioritised upon taking the role. “We had a lot of people who were incredibly passionate about the organisation and what they did, but the culture wasn’t necessarily a positive, healthy one, and we wanted to change that.” With employee engagement levels rising from 46% to 78%, as well as the aforementioned increase in revenue, it’s hard to argue with his point around culture and purpose being central to success.

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