The ABC board has begun its search for a new managing director to replace Michelle Guthrie, even though they have yet to appoint a new ABC chair.
There is growing pressure on the government to announce the new ABC chair so the process of appointing a new MD can begin before a federal election is called.
The decision to pre-empt the chair’s appointment and begin the search for a new MD comes just five months after former managing director Michelle Guthrie was sacked by the board and then-chair Justin Milne resigned amid concerns of interference from Canberra.
Last November, following Guthrie’s sacking in September, it was revealed she was paid $800,000 when she was terminated from her MD role at ABC back in September.
The payout was part of her contractual entitlements after she was dismissed halfway through her term, however, it didn’t stop Guthrie continuing to sue for wrongful dismissal.
The case still continues.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reportedly been given a shortlist of three potential candidates for the role of ABC chairman.
An ABC spokesperson said: “The [managing director] role is being advertised in major newspapers, on LinkedIn and ABC Careers and the executive search will be undertaken by global recruitment firm Spencer Stuart.
“It remains the board’s intention not to appoint a new managing director until a permanent ABC chair has been appointed.
“As it is anticipated the selection of a new managing director will take several months to complete, applicants are being sought now to ensure the process is underway.”
The final decision on the new ABC chairman rests with PM Scott Morrison.
The ABC has been asked to comment on the decision to advertise the managing director’s role and an official response was expected at the end of last week.
At the time of publishing, no response has been given.