2018 - Present



After 25+ years as a Director and C-Level executive, Ashley branched out and started HeadFirst strategy and transformation consulting.

As was the case in his corporate life, he is delivering immediate and tangible value to my clients primarily through the process of translating strategy into desired future-state business capability; including required changes to skills, technology, data, and business structure.


As both a leader of businesses undergoing significant change, and one directly responsible for driving change, he has a unique view of its impact and how best to navigate through complex and challenging transformations. He continues to draw on his experience, both locally and internationally, to lead large scale portfolios and programs with a passion for people, technology, and a drive and determination for excellence.


In an aggressively changing market place, MCN relied on clarity of direction, experience, and strong leadership. Ashley provided the necessary skills to enable the business to deliver a complex 3-year strategic portfolio and business transformation roadmap.


Combining corporate experience with start-up agility, Ashley balanced the need for rigour, benefits and accountability with the business’ desire to move at breakneck speed to market. In doing so he consistently delivered high quality results and supported a range of stakeholders and critical C-level executives at MCN, Foxtel and Network TEN.



Ashley joined MCN as rapid company growth dictated the need for strong operational leadership and new approaches to new challenges. The combination of 15+ years in media and 25+ years in senior operations roles positioned him perfectly to lead the transforming business and systems operations.


Within 6 months of commencing Ashley was faced with the merger of MCN and Network TEN. He successfully integrated and transitioned the operations and technology of the two businesses, including on-boarding of 150 staff across five offices.


Within 18 months Ashley’s role had been expanded to cover digital products as well as traditional broadcast. His natural and supportive leadership style ensured the success of a complete team restructure, resulting in a new footprint of approximately 50, across 5 departments. Furthermore, he continued the delivery of all operational objectives, policies, and initiatives for both TV and digital technology development, product, and sales campaign delivery.


Starting with a single business partner and limited cash typical of a start-up, Ashley functioned as the COO/CTO and designed, developed, and deployed a parcel management technology that leveraged off the extensive physical retail network as an alternative to Australia Post.


Leveraging off his US experience in establishing large scale channel deployments, the network grew towards 500 outlets within 18 months and drove enough interest to enable a $5M cash injection from Singapore Post.  Ashley then worked to scale the business (now a team of 20) and leverage off the new infrastructure and relationships to secure a distribution network for a range of other products from corporate partners including Fuji, AGL, and Hollard Insurance.


Reporting directly to the CEO – The Australian/News Digital Media, with direct accountability for commercial performance including a P&L of over $120M, Ashley remained focused on driving business improvement through a program of work – both system and process – so as to deliver maximum sales via the most cost effective and highest quality supply chain. His remit covered the commercial and technology operation including printing/production, distribution, retail and consumer sales/marketing, corporate sales and customer management. This activity spanned 7 print sites nationally and 25,000+ distribution points 365 days per year.


Significantly Ashley was a key player in the launch of News Corp’s first iPad app (The Australian) and its establishment of a digital paywall and subscription model.


Ashley joined News Corp Australia to drive a national transformation program focused at significantly reducing costs through business and technology rationalisation. Working across News Corp’s 14 Divisions nationally Ashley lead the program that replaced division-centric operations with a shared service business model. In turn, this significantly reduced costs and legacy business risk, whilst optimising the distribution of newspapers, magazines, and digital content.


Some may view time in the building industry as a divergence from a media-centric career, however this move provided Ashley with significant experience in a large and complex business; capability which he would leverage for the rest of his career.  Following a near identical business structure to News Corp, Ashley drew on his strategic background in order to provide clarity across Boral’s enormous body of change.


Working at a Corporate level he successfully navigated Boral’s seven major operating divisions to define business improvement strategies, agree on programs, and manage resources to ensure successful delivery.


In hindsight, I could’ve never imagined that working with Ashley would become a pivotal step in my professional career. He is not only one of the most supportive and knowledgeable leaders 
I have ever worked with but also someone whose strategic vision pioneers meaningful change. 

Jarka Kunova - Designed by Life

Ashley is a visionary, strategic and the Yoda of operational perfection. His ability to step in and enact change, clean-up and set the standards for a business is nothing short of impressive. 

Ela Dashti - Talent San Francisco

Ashley is an amazing mentor, inspiring people rather than managing them. He is a multiplier, amplifying and bringing out the smarts and capability of those around them. He is a leader who inspires the people around him to stretch themselves to deliver results that surpass expectations.

Lini Baru - News Corp

What stands out about Ashley as a leader is the "trust" he has on his team which enables and motivates every individual to give nothing but their best. He is vastly experienced and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Strategic Portfolio Management (transformation or fresh implementations).


Lax Mudre - Commonwealth Bank 

Ashley allows his team the freedom to think outside the box, and resolve problems themselves. He is the ideal "Multiplier" boss. At the same time Ashley is great at clearing up impediments for his team, is a great mentor, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty if need be. 

There is also no one better at driving transformation then Ashley. He is a great operator in leading transformations, operational strategies or project portfolios. 

Arjun Karnik - QANTAS