Former managing director Michelle Guthrie and former chairman Justin Milne of the ABC are currently facing the Senate as the inquiry into the political interference of the public broadcaster begins.
Milne kicked things off by addressing Guthrie’s ‘360’ performance review, which was completed by her board directors.
Speaking to the Senate, Milne said the results of the review were “shocking”.
“The results were so outside of the norm that they were incapable of being ignored,” he told the inquiry.
“They were a source of enormous concern to me and also to [board director and now acting ABC chair] Kirstin Ferguson,” he said.
Of particular concern was Guthrie’s integrity in the review.
According to Milne, Guthrie was ranked in the fourth percentile for integrity, meaning roughly 96 per cent of global chief executives ranked higher than her.
As well as this, Milne said Guthrie was in the 90th percentile for factors including arrogance, autocracy and distance.
Milne went on to say that during his time at the ABC, he found the staff were “becoming increasingly disengaged” and “increasingly uncomfortable with its leader (Guthrie)”.
Milne then addressed claims former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had asked the ex-chairman to fire chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici, a move that arguably led to the eventual demise of himself and Guthrie.
Speaking on the alleged request from Turnbull, Milne said: “He never ever required anything of me like that. He never suggested anything like that to me, by implication or anything.”
Milne was then asked by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young to clarify why government began disliking Alberici, and how he became privy to that information.
In response, Milne said the disliking was “the zeitgeist”.
At the time of writing, Guthrie’s questioning had just kicked off.
Stay tuned for updates.
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