INM sets aside up to €2m for departures of senior management
Chief executive Robert Pitt leaves ‘to pursue other interests’ after row
Robert Pitt is leaving as chief executive of Independent News & Media in a deal to end a boardroom row. Photograph: Bryan Meade
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 on Thursday that Mr Pitt has decided leave the business on Friday “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.