Nine board insists leadership team is ‘united’ amidst rumours CEO Sneesby is on the outer

The Nine board and CEO Mike Sneesby have insisted they are on the same page amidst a turbulent time for the media giant.

Following claims of alleged inappropriate behaviour by former news boss Darren Wick last week, Nine has launched an external investigation to be conducted by Intersection, while earlier this week a Nine spokesperson confirmed that the CEO signed off on an almost $1 million payment to Wick upon his retirement, saying Nine chair, Peter Costello, and the board “did not sign off on the settlement with Darren Wick; it was ­handled within our governance ­processes”, further clarifying, “Mike Sneesby signed off on it”.

However, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sneesby, chairman Peter Costello, and HR boss Vanessa Morley released a statement to staff on Thursday afternoon following a reported five-hour board meeting addressing the controversies.

“It is important we all acknowledge the trauma some of you have experienced in the past, and the distress and frustration the substance of these reports has caused. We also acknowledge and thank those who have come forward to share their experiences with us directly in the last two weeks, and the courage they have shown,” the statement read.

“The group leadership team is united with the board, and working closely, to ensure our workplace is one of respect, safety and inclusion.”

It was also reported that Nine will establish a dedicated hotline to report sexual harassment, will conduct an organisation-wide survey and that staff will undergo sexual harassment prevention training.

Intersection’s review will commence in the coming weeks, with findings to be completed by the end of July.

“We want to assure you we will be sharing the report findings and using these to reframe and rebuild the culture in our news and current affairs team,” Nine’s statement continued.

On the latest episode of the Mumbrellacast, recorded prior to Thursday’s board meeting, Mumbrella publisher Adam Lang said: “You would love to think that the board and the executives will unite together because they’ve all been fully informed along the way [and] made their choices and done so together.”

Listen to the full episode here.


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