World News – UA – After ousting Alexander, Crown’s Coonan makes desperate speech to save his own job


You couldn’t make this stuff up Former Executive Crown Chairman John Alexander was the victim of a coup in January staged by current Liberal President and former Senator Helen Coonan, and rode a horse while out of the country

Although Coonan took issue with the label of a ‘coup’, the fact that Alexander unexpectedly stepped down from the presidency and was given an unspecified and untitled leadership position with no other apparent task that showing the ropes to his replacement, General Manager Ken Barton, always seemed strange

As the investigation has repeatedly learned that Barton, who had been CFO, was at the heart of Crown’s operations

Alexander’s plank walking exercise was amply rewarded with a $ 3.5 million salary for one year of work – more generous even than Barton’s salary. The ad did not expressly state that Alexander would be leaving in year, but anyone who inquired was told it was the deal

Coonan’s take on the leadership and board shake-up in January was that it was a nod to non-Packer shareholders who were looking for a more conventional governance strategy Anyone who has followed the Crown’s investigation over the past few months will find this concept jarring / surprising and even laughable

Important information and decisions regarding the operation of the business were closed inside an inner sanctum – a handful of Crown officers and Packer agents Thus, normal reporting lines were bypassed

The impeachment of Alexander and the creation of a role of chairman separate from the role of CEO seems largely cosmetic to the bigger issues within Crown

Helen Coonan’s time in the witness stand in recent days is tantamount to her candidacy to remain president – her pitch being that she will become an agent of change for an organization in desperate need of an overhaul

She told the Inquiry that she was « invested » in Crown’s future It remains to be seen if she will have the opportunity to make a return on this investment

Her pitch certainly wasn’t helped by her admission that she may have been aware of an AUSTRAC investigation, announced by Crown on Monday, but had not mentioned it during the his first day of testimony Friday

Coonan’s was a desperate attempt to make the case that Crown 20 will emerge as a more mainstream company with a proper structure, a series of new leaders and new compliance officers who have hired a bunch of outside consultants to report on what gone wrong and how it can be avoided in the future

It’s the piece « going forward » And it’s up to Bergin if she will take this by faith

If it doesn’t, Crown may have to postpone the opening of its Sydney casino – and that’s not the worst outcome Bergin may recommend Crown to lose its NSW license

The tricky part for all of the Crown Trustees who testified virtual witnesses – many of whom want to keep their seats on the board – is that they have sat in this organization with a duty to watch. risks and corporate governance , compliance with anti-money laundering laws All this during times when the company failed in every area

All have tried to strike a delicate balance between acknowledging Crown’s failures, defending some of them, and vindicating their role.

It is clear from Commissioner Patricia Bergin’s comments and questions that she needs to be convinced that the current Crown regime can oversee her massive cultural overhaul.She also seems interested in whether the current casino regulatory regime is adapted to its purpose

The independent directors relied heavily on the fact that they were unaware of the issues at Crown because they were deprived of management information.This is a defense that only works if far

Although the investigation was partly opened following a series of reports in 2019 from that masthead and 60 Minutes, numerous press articles have documented Crown’s association with junket operators with links to organized crime

Some directors – strangely – admitted not knowing about it Some were unaware of the Chinese government’s crackdown on foreign casinos – an issue well covered in the media Most directors admitted not having no real knowledge or skills in the fight against money laundering

The only thing most directors had in common was some sort of previous relationship or relationship with James Packer Coonan’s history with the Packers dates back to his time as Federal Communications Minister when the Packers were heavily involved in the media industry

And if Packer is ultimately forced to sell or sell his stake in Crown, it’s hard to see how all or part can survive without his support.Indeed, Packer testified that board changes are needed alongside to independence

It has already become clear that large minority shareholders are planning to vote against three directors who will be re-elected at the company’s annual meeting on Thursday

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Helen Coonan

World News – UA – After ousting Alexander, Crown’s Coonan desperately tries to save his job



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