Activist media outlet Watchout ousts CEO over financial ‘flaws’
An independent online media outlet run by a group of young activists pushing for social and political reform in Taiwan has ousted its top executive, citing “serious flaws” in his handling of the company’s finances.
Watchout announced on its Facebook page in the early hours of yesterday that Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Liu Lin-wei was relieved from office because of “serious flaws in financial management.”
Liu has not responded to the dismissal.
A Watchout spokesperson, Lin Chu-yi, later said that so far the company has not detected any missing funds, but reserves the right to take legal action if any new findings come up in subsequent investigations.
Lin said the Watchout team decided that the “flaws” should not be hidden from the public.
The online media outlet has not explained the nature of the flaws, but promised to disclose the financial status of an ongoing crowdfunding project, “Congress Musou,” — which is designed to step up monitoring operations of the parliament — in two weeks.
Lin said Watchout originally planned to disclose the financial status of Congress Musou in January next year, but now feels obliged by its commitment to supporters to disclose it later this month.
Watchout has gained popularity after its reporting of the studentsled Sunflower Movement last year.
Despite its call for transparency in government and parliamentary operations, Watchout’s handling of the CEO’s dismissal has been far from being transparent, some commentators said.
Tony Wang, an Internet engineer who helped Taipei Mayor Ko Wenje manage his online campaigning during last November’s mayoral election, said he was disappointed by Watchout’s announcement, according to the Central News Agency.
Wang said the people who trusted Watchout, including himself, would not accept the ambiguous statement that cited serious flaws in financial management, saying he could not but associate it with “fraud” or “misappropriation.”