The former president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia and owner of Melbourne Sports Depot was elected as president in November 1978 along with a new committee to replace the retiring John Mitchell. Before the 1977 season started he had been feted as a potential President of the VFL.
He had joined the board just a month before, to replace Dick Fenton-Smith as a casual member of the committee. One of the new committee's first actions was to sack coach Denis Jones after one season where he had taken the Demons to a wooden spoon.
Reid left before the 1981 season due to the impact of the role on his business life. He stayed on as an advisor under the new Billy Snedden regime. In March 1981 he was re-elected president of the International Assembly of National Confederations of Sports.