Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett signals departure, share price spikes

CorbettRoger Corbett chairman of Fairfax Media has signalled he will depart the media company after this year’s AGM, once a suitable successor is in place.

The move comes amid ongoing speculation about whether Corbett would step down after five years in the role, with the company announcing Corbett would seek renomination to the board but would not serve his full term.

“Mr Corbett has informed the Board that if he is re-elected at this AGM it is his intention not to stand for re-election for a further term… the Board’s succession plan anticipates there that Mr Corbett will stand down at an appropriate time during his forthcoming term,” the company said its notice of Annual General Meeting.

The news of Corbett’s eventual departure was broken yesterday by the Financial Review which is reporting directors James Millar and Peter Young are tipped as potential replacements for the former retail executive who turned his hand to media following his departure from supermarket chain Woolworths.

On Friday shares in Fairfax were trading at around 78.5 cents, but in the wake of the news have spiked to 81.5 cents as of 12pm today, a rise of 3.8 per cent.

During his time as chairman Corbett has seen a volatile share price with the stock falling to as low as 36 cents, major cost cutting and a war of words with major shareholder Gina Rinehart who in 2012 he blocked from getting a seat on the board.

Today’s notice of AGM sees Corbett, Peter Young and Leo Burnett CEO and TV host Todd Sampson renominated for the board.

Shareholder activist Stephen Mayne has also nominated for a board position but his election is not recommended by the board.

Nic Christensen 


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