Gillon McLachlan

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Gillon McLachlan
Gillon McLachlan 03.02.201.jpg
McLachlan pictured during the inaugural AFL Women's match in February 2017
OccupationCEO of AFL

Gillon McLachlan (born 1973)[1] is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League (AFL). He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Football League (AFL) on 30 April 2014, succeeding Andrew Demetriou. He had previously been his deputy.[2]


McLachlan grew up on his family farm "Rosebank", located in Mount Pleasant, South Australia. His parents are Angus, a former first class cricketer, and Sylvia.[1][3] He is the eldest of four brothers: Hamish, Gus and Banjo.[1] His uncle, Ian McLachlan, was an Australian government Minister for Defence, and was long term President (up to 2014) of the South Australian Cricket Association.

After completing secondary school as a boarder at St Peter's College, Adelaide,[1] he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Adelaide in 1995 and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at the University of Melbourne in 1996, where he was a resident at Trinity College. He later completed the Senior Executive Program at Stanford University.[1] He is married to Laura Blythe, who was a fellow resident at Trinity College and is the daughter of former Spotless Chairman, Brian Blythe.[1] The McLachlans have four children.[1][3]

Sports career[edit]

McLachlan played Australian football in the Hills Football League colts competition for the now defunct Pleasant Valley club. After moving to Melbourne, he played with Melbourne University Blues in the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA).[1] Besides playing as a ruckman for the club (1994-2003), he was captain (2000-2002), C.W. McLeod Trophy for best-and-fairest (2000),[4] committeeman and made a life member (2003).[1][5] He was a regular VAFA Representative including captain. He was on the Carlton Football Club supplementary list from 1996 to 1997. McLachlan has represented Victoria in polo and has been a national selector.[1]

Business career[edit]

After leaving university, McLachlan worked as a management consultant with Accenture.[1] In 2000, he was employed as a strategy consultant to the AFL by CEO Wayne Jackson.[1] In 2003, he was appointed as General Manager of Commercial Operations and in 2008 was appointed Chief Operating Officer.[6] In December 2012, he was appointed Deputy CEO.[7] Before taking on the CEO role at the AFL, McLachlan played a major role in delivering stadiums for two new teams - Gold Coast Suns and GWS Giants, established the AFL media department and negotiated the media broadcast deal of $1.25 billion.[8][9] In 2013, he supervised the AFL's investigation into the Melbourne Football Club tanking scandal and the negotiations with Essendon Football Club supplements controversy.[8][10] On 30 April 2014, the AFL Chairman Mike Fitzpatrick announced McLachlan would be appointed as AFL CEO replacing Andrew Demetriou.[11] At the announcement of his appointment, McLachlan stated: "I've been part of the community of football and I know how important it is. I played over 200 games of amateur or country football, I've captained a club, I've been on a committee of a club, I'm a life member of a club. I've had my share of cold showers and freezing committee meetings. I've been part of appointing coaches and sacking coaches. I have a clear vision of where the game needs to go and how we're going to get there. For me that vision is about having an unassailable hold on the Australian community."[12]

In 2012, it was reported that he rejected the CEO positions at the National Rugby League[8] and Liverpool F.C.[13]

In 2014, McLachlan was appointed Patron for the Children's Cancer Foundation. McLachlan stated: "Australian football is built on community. We are only as strong as the community in which we reside. The Children's Cancer Foundation's values reflect the AFL's commitment to effecting positive social change." Since 2015, McLachlan has also been a member of The Million Dollar Lunch Committee.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "What you need to know about the AFL's new boss, Gillon McLachlan". 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Gillon McLachlan announced as new AFL CEO". The Age. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  3. ^ a b Lane, Sam (30 April 2014). "The man who will be king of the AFL". The Age. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Honour Board". Uniblues F.C. website. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  5. ^ "Earlier today". Uniblues FC website. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Top 50 Sport 2013 - Gillon McLachlan". The Australian. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Gillon McLachlan earns promotion to AFL deputy CEO". 19 December 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  8. ^ a b c "AFL names Gillon McLachlan as new CEO". Sydney Morning Herald. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  9. ^ Hinds, Richard (30 August 2012). "Little known about wanted man, but CV suggests code switch wouldn't be out of his league". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Gillon McLachlan to take over as AFL chief executive from Andrew Demetriou in June". 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. ^ Vaughan, Roger (30 April 2014). "New AFL boss moves to calm fans". Ninemsn. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  12. ^ "Gillon McLachlan named AFL CEO". The Roar, 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  13. ^ Stevens, Mark (2 September 2012). "Gillon McLachlan knocks back position with EPL giant Liverpool". Daily Telegraph. News Ltd. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  14. ^ "Our Patron". Children's Cancer Foundation website.
  15. ^ "Million Dollar Lunch hits the mark". The Age, 17 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Gillon McLachlan Profile - AFL website