Michelle Guthrie is “devastated” by her sacking from the ABC and is considering her legal options.
“I am devastated by the board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part,” the now former managing director of the ABC said in a written statement.
She says the ABC Act fixes the term of appointment for a managing director at five years and her term was due to end in July 2021.
“While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause,” she says.
“I am considering my legal options.
“I wanted to continue the transformation of the ABC and to support the great work of the ABC’s dedicated and passionate employees.”
Guthrie says no issues were raised with her about the transformation.
“As the first female managing director of the ABC, I felt a tremendous responsibility and unique privilege to lead Australia’s most important cultural institution,” she says.
“At all times I have promoted the ABC’s importance to the community, including having to defend and protect the ABC’s independence.”
The ABC reports that chairman Justin Milne was reluctant to explain what led to the decision to sack Guthrie “out of respect for Michelle”.
However, when pressed he called out Guthrie’s “leadership style” as a factor and that her relationship with Canberra “could have been better”.
“We needed a different leadership style and that is the decision of the board,” Milne said.
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