Nine board member Patrick Allaway resigns ahead of new CEO appointment

Former Fairfax director Patrick Allaway has announced his resignation from the Nine Entertainment Co board, just hours after the media company’s mastheads published an exclusive story detailing an investigation into deputy chair Nick Falloon over the alleged misuse of a corporate golf membership.

In a statement posted to the stock exchange just before 6pm last night, the business said the resignation will take effect in April, allowing “for an orderly transition … in light of the appointment of the new CEO and succession arrangements”.

Marks and CFO Maria Phillips delivered the financial results last week. Credit: Yianni Aspradakis

Last week, outgoing chief executive Hugh Marks delivered his final results at the company, for the six months ending in December: net profit surged by 79% to $182 million, leading to a record-high share price and, for the first time, a market capitalisation of above $5 billion.

His resignation was tendered shortly after presenting at Nine’s AGM and an investor strategy day last November, prompted by the revelation he was in a relationship with a former Nine executive, Alexi Baker.

Nine is expected to reveal Marks’ replacement imminently – believed to be either Stan boss Mike Sneesby or chief digital and publishing officer Chris Janz – and thanked Allaway for his contribution. Both Allaway and Falloon joined the Nine board when the Fairfax merger took place in 2018.

“Patrick has made an outstanding contribution to the company particularly with his financial skills,” chair Peter Costello said.

“Together we have worked to ensure a successful future for this media business and I wish him well for the future. We will make an announcement regarding a new director closer to the time of Patrick’s departure.”

Allaway said that his duties as chair of the the Bank of Queensland have intensified, meaning it was a good opportunity to step down from the Nine board.

“My time with Fairfax and now on the Nine board has seen much growth and change for our business and I have valued the work we have done together as a board and with management to create Australia’s largest locally owned media company,” he told the ASX.

“It was always my intention to stay on the board through the merger and to see the success we have created is gratifying.”

According to The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age (both owned by Nine), the third Fairfax import to the board, Mickie Rosen, who is also a Bank of Queensland director, is also considering resigning. The board consists of Costello, Samantha Lewis, and Catherine West, in addition to Falloon, Rosen, and the departing Allaway.

In February 2019, Allaway resigned from David Jones’ parent company’s board just a few months after standing for re-election. Just days earlier, CEO David Thomas had abruptly resigned. Thomas was the subject of a discrimination complaint, but an investigation uncovered no evidence to support the allegation, according to the company.


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