Seven West Media board orders inquiry into CEO Tim Worner’s sex scandal

Seven West Media’s board has ordered an “independent” inquiry and revealed that it has held four emergency meetings over the last three days to discuss the sex scandal involving CEO Tim Worner.

In its first statement to the ASX on the matter, SWM said that while it continues to support Worner, “to allay any concerns that our shareholders may have the board has determined it prudent to commission a further independent inquiry to establish all the facts”.


Worner: Share price dipped after scandal was revealed

The scandal came to light after a former executive assistant in the media company’s magazine division went public on her 18-month-relationship with the married executive. In an explosive email, Amber Harrison made a number of claims about Worner’s conduct during and after their relationship.

Harrison left the company acrimoniously after questions were raised around her use of her company credit card and legal discussions about a financial settlement then broke down.

On Monday night the company issued a press release saying that although the affair was “completely unacceptable”, Worner’s apology has been accepted and he would remain in place with a brief to ensure that such “improper conduct is not part of Seven’s culture”.  Today’s statement was the first the company has issued on the matter to the ASX.

Meanwhile, the company’s share price has recovered to the point it was before news broke of embattled chief executive Tim Worner’s sex scandal on Sunday night.

When the company’s shares (ASX:SWM) closed last Friday night, they were priced at 80c. Yesterday they rose as far as 81c, before finishing the day at 79.5.

It means the company’s market capitalisation is now back above $1.2bn after dipping below $1.1bn on Monday lunchtime when the price fell to 73.5c.


Seven West Media’s assets include the Seven Network, Pacific Magazines, its stake in Yahoo!7 and the West Australian newspaper.

The calling of an inquiry is a similar strategy to that used by the Nine Network when news broke of its botched 60 Minutes Beirut child snatching. On that occasion Nine’s “independent” inquiry was conducted by the former boss of 60 Minutes, its corporate comms adviser and its legal adviser. When the review team later reported back, senior management were absolved of blame.

The statement did not say who the “independent expert” conducting the inquiry would be.

Today’s ASX statement:




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