Michelle Guthrie, one of the highest-profile female executives in international television, has been fired as managing director of public broadcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She was less than two and a half years into a five-year contract.
ABC board chairman Justin Milne said that the decision was “in the long-term interests of our people and the millions of Australians who engage with ABC content every week.” In a statement, the directors said they had decided it was “not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms. Guthrie to continue to lead the organization.”
“We needed a different leadership style and that is the decision of the board,” said Milne. He added that Guthrie’s relationship with the Australian government “could have been better.”
Guthrie has resigned and already departed. David Anderson, the ABC’s director of entertainment, will act as interim MD while a replacement is found.
During her tenure as MD, Guthrie’s responses to the changing media landscape had included the layoffs of about 170 staff members in early 2017. She also reorganized the corporation into three new divisions according to genre of content, rather than platform or media.
Australian-born Guthrie trained as a lawyer and worked at Foxtel and BSkyB before taking pan-Asian roles at Star TV in Hong Kong and latterly at Google, in Singapore.