Joel MacDonald has stepped down as CEO of GetSwift

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Former AFL player Joel Macdonald is stepping down as CEO of GetSwift, a technology company facing a series of class actions.

Bane Hunter, the current independent chairman, is the new CEO.

Michael Fricklas, the Chief Legal Officer of Advance Publications, a private company that operates and invests in a broad range of media, communications and technology businesses, and a former general counsel for Viacom, becomes chairman.

Joel MacDonald will assume the role of President of GetSwift and remain an Executive Director.

David Ryan, the former Chairman of Transurban Group, has also been appointed to the board.

“We’re delighted to appoint Mike (Fricklas) and David to the Company’s Board of Directors,” says Bane Hunter.

“Our new Directors have extensive governance, operational, and M&A experience with leading global public companies and have served with distinction.

“We have worked with both of our new directors as consultants to the Company for the past few months prior to their appointment, as they learned more about us, and us about them.

“We feel that not only is the experience right, but the chemistry is right, to assist us with both our growth and our implementation of the more sophisticated governance practices of larger companies.”

The company faces potential class actions from law firm Phi Finney McDonald, with funding from Therium, and from by Corrs Chambers Westgarth alleging breaches of continuous disclosure obligations.

The software and logistics company, which helps helps merchants manage their delivery operations, called a trading halt in January after a report by The Australian Financial Review.

The company then said it “categorically denies” that it had twice failed to update the market about losing materially significant contracts.

Corporate regulator ASIC is investigating.

“The company has informed ASIC that it will comply with the notice and fully cooperate so that its investigation may be completed as soon as reasonably possible,” GetSwift said in a notice to the ASX in February.

In the half year to December, the company posted a net loss of $5.5 million. Revenue was $329,000 for the six months.

GetSwift raised $24 million from existing and new investors at 80 cents a share in June last year. The money was earmarked to grow “aggressively” into the Americas, Europe and some Asian markets, as well as scale to meet the needs of large multinational customers.

In 2016, MacDonald had a public falling out with BlueChilli CEO Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin after the latter resigned from the GetSwift board.

The company listed in December 2016, raising $5 million at 20 cents a share for a market capitalisation of $25 million, having aborted a reverse listing earlier that year.

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