John Holland leader named young executive of the year

John Holland’s Executive General Manager of Customer and Corporate Affairs, Larry McGrath has been recognised as one of Australia’s top young executives by the prestigious Australian Financial Review BOSS magazine.

Now in its 16th year, the BOSS Young Executive Awards recognises six leaders aged 35 or under, who are making a difference to their organisations and the world around them.

Larry has led a number of initiatives at John Holland and was the driving force behind shifting John Holland to being a purpose-led company, and focusing the business more on its customers.

He is also responsible for coordinating the business’ response to major projects in the current infrastructure boom.

John Holland CEO Joe Barr said it was an honour to have somebody in the Group Leadership Team recognised in the prestigious awards.

“We are lucky to be attracting a large number of millennials to our company - they now make up more than 50 per cent of our staff. It is important that our leadership team reflects this, and I am proud that this next generation of leaders is getting well-deserved recognition,” Mr Barr said.

“Diversity is important in all its forms and I certainly value having a millennial in my leadership team, let alone somebody with Larry’s leadership skills.”

Larry thanked the Australian Financial Review for recognising the achievements of young leaders and encouraging frank conversations about leadership.

“I think as a modern leader you have to be willing to be vulnerable, and create a culture where people feel comfortable being themselves,” he said.

“My leadership style has changed after having two kids, and I now model a much more positive work-life balance with my team. Not just around trying to get home to put my kids to bed, but also around prioritising physical and mental health and wellbeing at work.”

In addition to his role at John Holland, Larry is a Director on a number of boards including the Committee for Sydney.