Wal King Says He Was A 'Lame Duck' CEO

Former CEO Wal King. Photo: AFP

Wal King says internal politics meant he was a “lame duck” chief executive at construction company Leighton, which has been accused of paying bribes.

King, who has been accused in newspaper reports of being complicit in a multi-million dollar bribery scandal has told the AFR that David Stewart, who would succeed him, failed to raise a shonky payment with him personally.

Stewart was selected to replace King as chief executive in August 2010, and after that decision was made, King said he had little power and was “ostracised”.

“I had little influence due to Stewart wanting to seize power and myself wanting to step backwards,” he said in the Fin’s article.

“I was somewhat of a lame duck.”

Fairfax Media reported this month that King was aware a payment to a contractor in Iraq was doubled to hide an alleged bribe made to officials in the country.

According to the report, a handwritten note shows Stewart, who was acting CEO, recorded being told by Leighton executive David Savage that King had approved the doubling of a fee.

King says he was working side-by-side with Stewart a week after the note is said to have been written, and that he never brought it up.

In the Fin’s report, King also denies any wrongdoing after credit card records show him buying alcohol from a bottleshop near his Sydney home, and using a private helicopter flown by his son.

There’s more here.

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