7-Eleven chairman and chief executive resign

by Miklos Bolza30 Sep 2015
The chairman, Russ Withers, and the chief executive, Warren Wilmot, have resigned in the aftermath of the recent worker exploitation scandal at 7-Eleven. Both resignations are effective immediately.
“Mr Wilmot offered his resignation following the recent realisation of the extent to which 7-Eleven franchisees had underpaid workers,” a company statement said.
“Mr Wilmot acknowledged it would be difficult for him to play a central role in navigating the company through the current challenges it faces given his long-standing executive role and that a new independent CEO was appropriate in the current circumstances.”
Michael Smith, the former chairman of iiNet, will step in as the new 7-Eleven chairman while Bob Daily has been appointed as interim chief executive.
“Mr Smith will lead an executive search process to identify a permanent candidate for the CEO role,” the statement said.
These resignations come after a joint Fairfax Media/Four Corners investigation which revealed that 7-Eleven was paying its workers about half the minimum wage. Many of these were foreign employees who were forced to work in contravention of their visa conditions.
In a Senate hearing last week, Withers condemned this behaviour.
“I want to stress that this has been highly embarrassing and I apologise unreservedly to any worker that has worked in a 7-Eleven store who has not been paid correctly.”
Despite the resignation, Withers will remain as chairman of the group holding company that has investments in 7-Eleven, Starbucks and a number of real estate and share portfolios.
“Naturally this is a major decision for me to stand aside, however I will continue to be a shareholder and I am determined to make sure the company is in the right hands to move forward,” he said in a written statement.


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