TEDxSydney Appoints Susan McMahon to Replace Founder Remo Giuffré as CEO

Remo Giuffré, the founder of TEDxSydney, will pass on the role of CEO to General Manager Susan McMahon as from September 2022. Susan has served as Head of Operations and then General Manager of TEDxSydney for over six years; and has worked closely with Remo over those years on many events, projects and (more recently) existential challenges.

Remo, trained as a lawyer with an MBA from Columbia Business School and a background as a retail merchant, founded TEDxSydney in 2009; with the inaugural flagship event happening at Sydney’s Carriageworks in May 2010. For over 12 years TEDxSydney has served the Australian community by delivering faithfully on its mission to provide a high quality and global forum for Australian stories, creativity and innovation. It has become Australia’s leading ideas platform, and the world’s pre-eminent TEDx event. TEDxSydney has produced over 700 talks and performances that have been viewed over 230 million times by people all over the world.

Susan has been a management consultant for 30 years, including 8 years with Ernst & Young and almost 20 years as an independent consultant supporting a variety of corporate clients with IT, project and business management. She took on the Head of Operations role at TEDxSydney in 2015 and was appointed General Manager in 2016.  

As regards the decision to step back after the next TEDxSydney flagship event Remo says:

“I’ve had my hand on the TEDxSydney tiller for a long time … navigating the ship through many phases. I feel that it’s time for me to make way for a new generation of TEDxSydney leadership; and also make some space for myself to do other things. Despite unprecedented disruptions associated with COVID, the business is currently in good financial shape, thanks largely to the RISE government funding from last year; giving us, for the very first time, enough runway to rethink, reinvent and figure out a sustainable way forward. In terms of passing on the leadership baton … there was never going to be a better time.”

Says Susan:

“I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to lead such a remarkable organisation (and, especially, such an incredible team). Over the past 6 years, it has been a privilege to work closely with Remo and be part of the diverse TEDxSydney ecosystem (including speakers, volunteers, partners and, of course, our audience). I am eager to continue to TEDxSydney’s mission to amplify ideas, ignite curiosity, and spark conversations.”

And Cheryl Bart the Chairman of the TEDxSydney Board:

“On behalf of the board I would like to thank and acknowledge Remo for his inspiring leadership over many years. TEDxSydney is a phenomenon, and nobody connects the dots quite like Remo. His greatest legacy is the quality of the people that he has attracted. But note that he won’t be going too far, continuing as both a director and licensee. I’d also like to welcome Susan. We are all looking forward to working closely with her over the coming years.”

Finally, says Will Davis, Head of TEDx Development at TED in New York:

“TEDxSydney is a Legacy TEDx event that continues to create impact at an incredible scale, inspiring organizers across the globe. We’re excited to work with Remo as licensee, along with Susan in her new role, helping to continue that story.”

Photo: Jean-Jacques Halans | TEDxSydney 2017