As the credit crunch lays waste to the reputations of many, it is remarkable that we are yet to see a single high profile non-executive director fall on their sword and accept responsibility for the mess. Barbara Ward walked from the Allco Finance Group without explanation – but this was more likely a protest over poor governance.

Maybe the directors’ club needs some prodding. While some CEOs such as Centro’s Andrew Scott and MFS boss Michael King have disappeared, here are the seven directors I reckon most deserve to be flicked:

Brian Healey: The long time Centro chairman has blown it and should just quit all his boards, especially Incitec Pivot. What sort of chairman presides over this mess and then simply disappears from public view without actually quitting?

Andrew Peacock: Never really got into the directors’ club properly, but as chairman of MFS for the past 10 months, he’s got to go. Will probably be dumped by shareholders at the April 7 EGM in an ignominious end to a chequered career.

David Coe: Remains chairman of Allco Equity Partners, despite having quit the parent board and having lost control of his key shareholding. Coe’s presence might explain why AEP is trading at a 64% discount to NTA.

Bob Mansfield: Was axed as CEO of Fairfax and Optus and then later forced out as Telstra chairman. Failed as the public face of the Qantas private equity bid, didn’t make the cut when Westfield did its big three way merger in 2004 and now won’t even step up as the full-time chairman of Allco Finance Group in its hour of need. As the independent Allco director who fronted the disastrous Rubicon acquisition, his number is up.

Sam Kavourakis: The former funds management boss at National Mutual has blown it as the audit committee chairman at Centro. The committee only met twice in 2006-07 and managed to misclassify $2.6 billion in short term debt.

Sally-Anne Atkinson: The ABC Learning chair who allowed dreadful corporate governance to flourish and has now been exposed as someone who deliberately decided the board should not inquire about the trigger points on margin loan exposures held in the board room.

Elizabeth Nosworthy: Labor-friendly Queensland lawyer who Richard Alston booted off the Telstra board and was associated with years of poor performance at David Jones. Major blunder has been as chair of the collapsing Commander Communications for the past five years. Also supposedly independent deputy chair of Babcock & Brown despite an earlier gig on the faltering Babcock & Brown Infrastructure and a supposedly independent spot on the GPT board.

Check out this Mayne Report rave over how many positions should be up for grabs at the WA News EGM in Perth on April 23.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW