Michelle Guthrie forced out of ABC

Cristina Cross
September 25, 2018

"So, in this case the board decided that it wasn't working out and decided that we should do a reset and that is what we have chose to do", he said.

"Her relationship with the board is not something the leadership team could actually see, nor will I criticise Michelle in any way for the last two-and-a-half years".

"The board felt in the end that her leadership style was not the style that we needed going forward".

But Guthrie appeared flat-footed on Monday, saying: "While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause".

The ABC has fired managing director Michelle Guthrie, in a shock decision just two years into her term.

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David Anderson, ABC director, entertainment & specialist, has been invited by the Board to serve as acting managing director until the role is filled.

"It was their decision and their deliberations, I'm not privy to the deliberations".

ABC chairman Justin Milne said yesterday the decision was made in the "long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week".

Mr Anderson stepped into the top job following the abrupt dismissal of Ms Guthrie yesterday, halfway through her five-year term.

News of Guthrie's departure was reported by The Australian before the decision had been communicated to ABC staff. "That said, I think Michelle tried hard and was involved with government", he said.

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The former Google executive said at no time had her plan to modernise the ABC come under fire, and that she had been effective in delivering on her state goals of shaking up Aunty.

Guthrie replaced Mark Scott as managing director in May 2016, after he had previously remained in charge for a decade.

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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".

"We all know that we face challenges around budget constraints, increased competition and changing audience behaviours".

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Both Mr Milne and Ms Guthrie declined to comment on specific questions about both these instances.

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