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Monday, June 24, 2024

Peter Costello Resigns from Nine Board

After nearly eleven years on the Board of Nine Entertainment Company (NEC) and more than eight years as Chair, former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello has resigned following the alleged assault of a “journalist” from The Australian newspaper at Canberra airport.

According to Mr Costello, “I had flagged retiring from the Board some time after the July Olympics and by the AGM in November at latest. Last year, the Company retained a Search Firm to identify new Directors. The work is well advanced.

“I have today informed the Board of NEC that I will pull forward that timing, stand down as Chair and resign as a Director.”

According to Costello, Nine Entertainment Company Deputy Chair-Catherine West has been working with the Search Firm and is well placed to Chair the company and conclude the process of refreshing the Board.

“The Board has been supportive through the events of the last month and last few days in particular,” said Mr Costello. “But, going forward I think they need a new Chair to unite them around a fresh vision and someone with the energy to lead to that vision for the next decade.

“The new Chair will require full support from all Directors as this is an industry where there is fierce rivalry. I do not rate the attacks of a commercial rival. The threat to this industry comes externally from Trillion Dollar technology companies that are competing for its business. To stand still or hope to continue to do things as they always have been done is not an option.”

In answer to numerous questions onn the subject, Mr Costello Stated that Nine CEO Mike Sneesby “… has always had my full support as CEO. The Company has set up a robust process to investigate historical complaints which has my full support. I believe it will get to the bottom of any unknown issues.

Peter Costello joined the Nine Board when it was in the hands of distressed credit funds, He helped with capital reconstruction and listing on the ASX in 2013.

During his time on the Board,  9 went from a three-station East Coast Free to Air Television Network to a a truly national FTA network by acquiring stations in Adelaide and Perth. The company also established STAN, arguably the most successful Australian subscription streaming service.

The company also acquired a publication division with mastheads including The SMH, The Age, The AFR; the ownership of a national talk radio network; and a majority interest in the Domain real estate website.

“I wish the Board, the employees and the Company well,” said Mr Costello. “There are enormous challenges ahead but I believe NEC is the best placed Australian Media Company to weather them and prosper.”

In a note to journalists, Mr Costello concluded, “I will not be doing any interviews or commenting further on any issues this weekend so no need to maintain vigil outside my home”


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