ABC boss Michelle Guthrie ousted from role as managing director

ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie sacked after several months of talks

ABC staff quickly reacted to news of her departure.

The ABC board has commenced a formal search, both internally and externally, for Ms Guthrie's replacement.

"That is possibly an area that could have been better".

"By law, Managing Directors are selected by the ABC Board independently of the Government and Opposition of the day", the ABC noted in its statement.

The ABC board, which appointed Guthrie 2.5 years ago during the reign of former chair James Spigelman, today sacked her halfway through her five year contract, with current chair Justin Milne saying "her leadership style was not the style that we needed going forward".

"(But) the government, I must say, has provided no pressure, no opinion, has not been involved in this decision. She said there is no justification for the Board to trigger the termination cause and she is considering her legal options.

"I think it's different to what happened with [Malcolm] Turnbull, in that there isn't a voting selection here that I'm aware of that is one person over an another", he said.

Senior journalist Sally Neighbour, executive producer of 4 Corners, tweeted: "Excellent decision". "This is entirely a board decision".

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In a later interview on ABC News, Milne said the board had been "looking at the question of Michelle's ongoing employment for the last couple of months".

Guthrie has been a divisive figure during her tenure as ABC boss.

The ABC's Michelle Guthrie has been dismissed as managing director by the board of directors.

"At no point have any issues been raised with me about the transformation being undertaken, the Investing in Audiences strategy and my effectiveness in delivering against that strategy".

Asked if he was among them, Mr Anderson said he was not.

David Anderson, ABC director, entertainment & specialist, has been invited by the Board to serve as acting managing director until the role is filled.

Mr Milne was reluctant to explain what led to the decision "out of respect for Michelle", but when pressed said Ms Guthrie's "leadership style" was a factor.

In an email to staff at the time, she said: "I am very disappointed and concerned that after the measures we have introduced in recent years to deliver better and more efficient services, the government has now seen fit to deliver what amounts to a further substantial budget cut".

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