A “DEVASTATED” Michelle Guthrie is threatening legal action against the ABC after its shock decision to sack her as managing director today.
In a blistering statement just before midday, Ms Guthrie said she believed there was “no justification” for the ABC board’s decision to terminate her contract halfway through her five year term at the helm.
“I am devastated by the Board’s decision to terminate my employment despite no claim of wrongdoing on my part,” she said, noting that the board had “at no point” raised any issues with her about the ABC’s transformation under her direction.
Ms Guthrie was just halfway through her five-year term at the helm when the board made a call to dismiss her.
According to the ABC’s own information, Ms Guthrie had a total salary package of $890,987 for the financial year ending June 2017. She told a Senate Committee last October she was the highhest paid person at the national broadcaster.
ABC staff were notified of the news of her sacking by email today.
“The ABC Act fixes the term of appointment of the Managing Director at five years,” Ms Guthrie said.
“My term concludes on 4 July, 2021. 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. I am considering my legal options.”
Ms Guthrie added that from the time she was appointed in 2016, she knew it would be an “enormous challenge” to break “down some of the internal barriers to progress” in the ABC, while “continuing to deliver quality programming for all Australians”.