Former war hero and Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith has been appointed general manager of Seven Queensland.
Robert-Smith, who was awarded his VC in Afghanistan, quit the Army in 2012 and has been involved with Seven ever since. In April he was front of Seven’s Gallipoli coverage and hosted his own program on the 100 year anniversary. He is currently deputy general manager of Seven Queensland and takes over from the retiring Neil Mooney.
In 2012, Robert-Smith was the subject of an inappropriate joke by The Circle’s Yumi Stynes after photos of him swimming in a pool were posted Stynes said, “Hellloooo! Look at that physique! He’s going to dive down to the bottom of the pool and see if his brain is there”. She also labelled him a “dud root”. The comments due universal outrage and a grovelling apology from Ten’s management.
Announcing the appointment of Mr Roberts-Smith, Tim Worner, the CEO of Seven West Media, said: “We are delighted to announce this appointment. Ben has been a part of the Seven Network for a number of years and has impressed us greatly with his management and leadership skills.
“I wish to acknowledge (outgoing GM) Neil’s tremendous contribution to our businesses across news and public affairs and television management. He hands over Seven Queensland in terrific shape as the market-leading television network across the fast-growing regional Queensland markets.”
Neil Mooney said: “Ben will be an excellent leader. He is an outstanding person. When it comes to leadership he ticks all the right boxes.”
Roberts-Smith said of his appointment: “I consider this a fantastic opportunity and one which I have accepted with great pride. Seven West Media is founded on integrity, innovation and excellence and as part of the Seven Queensland team I look forward to contributing to its continuing success.”
Robert-Smith has also been a strategic adviser for the government, he is the deputy chair of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council for Veterans Mental Health and is also a member of the Queensland Veterans Advisory Council. In November 2014, he was appointed as Chair of the National Australia Day Council.