24 Sep 2018

Head of ABC removed by the Australian public broadcaster's board

2:36 pm on 24 September 2018

The ABC Chairman has confirmed that the Australian national broadcaster's Managing Director Michelle Guthrie has left her position.

Michelle Guthrie

Photo: ABC News: Nick Haggarty

David Anderson, the ABC director of entertainment and specialist, will serve as acting managing director until a formal search process finds Ms Guthrie's successor.

According to a statement released by the ABC, the decision was made when the directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation.

But Ms Guthrie has put out a statement saying there is no justification for her dismissal and is threatening to sue.

ABC Chairman Justin Milne said the decision was made in the "long-term interests of our own people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week".

"This decision has been driven by our commitment to deliver the best possible outcomes for our loyal audiences and the best possible experience for our own people," he said.

"We understand that transitions can be disruptive in the short term, however the ABC is fortunate to have an experienced and capable executive team that will provide continuity in the months ahead."

He thanked Ms Guthrie for her hard work since taking the position in May 2016.

"The board wishes to thank Michelle for her contribution to the ABC," Mr Milne said.

"We are very grateful for all her hard work."

Mr Anderson has a 30-year career in the media industry and has been responsible for leading the ABC's broadcast television networks and associated services, radio music networks, podcasts and specialist radio content.

He said it was an honour to lead the corporation.

"I recognise the challenges involved in transitions of this kind, but I am honoured to accept the board's invitation and look forward to working with our outstanding people to execute our strategy," he said.

The ABC board has commenced a formal search, both internally and externally, for Ms Guthrie's replacement.

Ms Guthrie spent more than four years as a director of Auckland Airport.

She stepped down in March this year to focus on her role at the ABC.