Former PHD boss Barry O’Brien to chair media charity Mayday

barry_o'brien_phdMaydaylogoBarry O’Brien is to chair media industry charity Mayday, the CEO of PHD announced at a party in Sydney last night to mark his departure from the agency.

Mayday – Media Assisting Youth – was cofounded by Kerry McCabe, now director of advertising and online at Microsoft.

During his leaving speech O’Brien told the audience that McCabe, who returned to Australia in October, had been quick to ask him to be involved when he announced he was stepping down from PHD. He said “He’s been away for two years. He found me in two minutes.”

O’Brien also used the speech to remind the audience that he was not retiring and was open to offers.   

Among those paying tribute to O’Brien in a video farewell was Seven West Media boss David Leckie who recalled the first days when he took the helm at the then troubled Seven. Leckie said: “The only person that stood up for us and me in the press was Barry O’Brien and I’ll never forget him for that.”

O’Brien cofounded Total Advertising in 1991. He remained at the helm when the agency relaunched at PHD in 2008.

O’Brien has been a long term supporter of industry and other charities, helping raise more than $3m in the last five years. His charity board memberships have included the Sport & Tourism Foundation, the Reuters ASX Charity Fund  and the Monte Santa Angelo Foundation.


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