INM sets aside up to ¤2m for se­nior ex­its as chief ex­ec­u­tive Pitt leaves

The Irish Times - - Front Page - MARK PAUL Busi­ness Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

Robert Pitt, who is leav­ing as chief ex­ec­u­tive of In­de­pen­dent News & Me­dia in a deal to end a board­room row, is un­der­stood to have ne­go­ti­ated a sub­stan­tial exit pack­age.

It is un­der­stood INM has set aside up to ¤2 mil­lion in its in­ter­nal ac­counts to pro­vi­sion for the depar­tures of se­nior man­age­ment this year.

INM an­nounced yes­ter­day that Mr Pitt has de­cided leave the busi­ness to­day “to pur­sue other in­ter­ests”.

The com­pany is­sued a short state­ment to the stock ex­change at 5pm.

Mr Pitt and Les­lie Buck­ley, the com­pany’s chairman, who rep­re­sents the in­ter­ests of INM’s main share­holder, De­nis O’Brien, fell out last year over a pro­posal for INM to buy the ra­dio sta­tion New­stalk. The sta­tion is owned sep­a­rately by Mr O’Brien.

Mr Pitt re­fused to meet Mr O’Brien’s ask­ing price for New­stalk, and a dispute arose be­tween Mr Pitt and Mr Buck­ley over how much INM should of­fer.

In an un­prece­dented move for cor­po­rate Ire­land, INM’s chief ex­ec­u­tive then made a whistle­blower com­plaint about his chairman to the State’s cor­po­rate watch­dog, the ODCE, which is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the row.

Talks to re­solve the bit­ter dispute in­ten­si­fied late last week, it is un­der­stood.

Robert Pitt: whistle­blower com­plaint about his chairman to State’s cor­po­rate watch­dog

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