The ABC board have fired the managing director Michelle Guthrie, two years into her five year term.
In a statement Guthrie has said she is ‘devastated’ by the decision “despite no claim of wrongdoing” on her part and is considering her legal options.
The termination of Guthrie’s appointment comes after reported tension between Guthrie and the ABC chair Justin Milne. In a statement to staff the board said it had determined it was “not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation”.
Exclusive: ABC boss Michelle Guthrie has been sacked by the organisation's chairman Justin Milne https://t.co/tUQgOt3bsT
— Darren Davidson (@darrendavidson) September 23, 2018
“In resolving to seek fresh leadership, the board’s foremost consideration was the long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week,” Milne said. “This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people.
“We understand that transitions can be disruptive in the short term. However, the ABC is fortunate to have an experienced and capable executive team that will provide continuity in the months ahead.
News of Guthrie’s departure was reported by The Australian before the decision had been communicated to ABC staff.
David Anderson who is currently ABC’s head of specialist and factual will stand in as the interim managing director.
Statement on ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie. pic.twitter.com/NgPZXE8i5V
— Kumi Taguchi | 田口久実 (@kumitaguchi) September 23, 2018
Guthrie was one of very few female CEOs in Australia’s media and the first female to the lead the national broadcaster, something Guthrie described as “a tremendous responsibility and unique privilege”.
Statement by Michelle Guthrie on her sacking. Says she's "devastated". pic.twitter.com/ua2c6wOnMF
— Leigh Sales (@leighsales) September 24, 2018
In her statement Guthrie said at no point were issues about the transformation she was leading were raised with her.