PZ Cussons cuts Kanellis’ exit pay as whistle blower lifts lid on cash withdrawals

PZ Cussons cuts Kanellis’ exit pay as whistle blower lifts lid on cash withdrawals

THE WHAT? PZ Cussons has announced that its remuneration committee has decided to withdraw a settlement agreement between the company and former CEO Alex Kanellis following allegations levelled at the latter.

THE DETAILS Following the announcement of Kanellis’ retirement in December last year, the company was made aware of a number of cash withdrawals and payments made by Kanellis over a period of years indicating behaviour ‘inconsistent with what would be expected of a senior member of management’.

As a result, the board initiated an independent investigation, which is now complete. Following its review of the report, the board has concluded that Kanellis’ conduct constituted a breach of his duties as a director of the company and therefore its remuneration committee has determined that no payments will be made directly to Kanellis in connection with his retirement.

THE WHY? While PZ Cussons said that the board was satisfied that the financial amounts involved were ‘not material’ and there was no requirement to restate the financial statements for the current or prior periods, Kanellis will forgo a considerable lump sum payment and shares agreed to compensate him for loss of office, basic salary and contractual benefits. Quite the deterrent.

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