The chief executive of Nine Entertainment Co, Hugh Marks, has announced his sudden resignation from the company, a role he has kept for five years.
He shared the news in a staff email on Saturday, however did not state his reasons for leaving.
“I have decided the time is right for me begin the process of moving on,” Mr Marks said in his email to staff.
“An announcement to this effect will be made to the market on Monday and we will then commence a formal process for both internal and external candidates for my replacement. And of course, I will be around to ensure a smooth transition as the business embarks on its next stage of growth.
“I want to take this opportunity to tell you what a privilege it has been leading this business over a truly transformational period for both the media market generally, and particularly our business,” he added.
His sudden departure comes as scrutiny over his personal relationships with his staffers has intensified in recent days.
On Saturday Fairfax reported on his months-long relationship with Nine director of commercial Alexi Baker, who recently left the company after nine years. Marks said neither him nor Baker had breached any company policies but their desire to “progress” their relationship did play a factor in Ms Baker leaving.
“Coming out of COVID the business started to improve, people were coming back into the office. I guess I just started to think about what might be the next stage for me personally on many fronts,” he said.
“Everyone wants to be happy. People think you should be superhuman in these roles but you are still just a person.”
Nine’s chairman Peter Costello was also forced to publicly acknowledge photos of Marks and his executive assistant Jane Routledge during Nine’s AGM on Thursday. Published by the Daily Telegraphin May 2020, it showed the CEO and Ms Routledge pinicking in a park in Mosman, Sydney.
More to come.