After a long and exhaustive search, Andrew Dillon was chosen to be the next CEO of the Australian Football League (AFL) after Gillon McLachlan stepped down from arguably the most successful stint as CEO.
Dillon was already one of the big dogs on the chief executive committee and represented a safe choice as he had worked for the AFL for over two decades and held a range of positions in legal and development roles.
Who is Andrew Dillon?
Dillon holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne and a post-graduate diploma in Applied Finance and Investment from the Securities Institute of Australia.
He worked at a three-surname-titled law firm called Corrs Chambers Westgarth before moving to Village Roadshow as their in-house legal counsel and joining the AFL in 2000.
On the field, Dillon played 290 games for the Old Xaverians in the VAFA but never made it any higher than the amateur leagues. He was known to be a solid and reliable rebounding defender rather than a game changer.
Dillon’s appointment is the oldest of old schools, as it is linked to his family’s connections in sport, religion, and family.
His father was the eighth president of the VAFA in 1984, and his father-in-law is the ex-Melbourne Cricket Club president and former Test opener Paul Sheahan.
Dillon’s uncle is Father Kevin Dillon, an outspoken member of the Catholic Church, and his other uncle, Brendan, has served as chaplain to the Melbourne racing fraternity for years.
Despite the possibility of having a talented and innovative female CEO such as Kylie Watson-Wheeler and Kylie Rogers, the AFL decided to stick with a male CEO.
However, the decision to give Laura Kane a shot at backfilling Dillon’s role shows a tentative but promising investment in the future.