Calls for answers over CEO’s termination

Toby HusseyAlbany Advertiser
Former ACCI chief executive Mark Forrest.
Camera IconFormer ACCI chief executive Mark Forrest. Credit: Laurie Benson

Despite dumping its new chief executive after only six weeks in the job, Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Caroline Hayes says her organisation is not in turmoil.

Ms Hayes assured there was nothing to worry about despite chief executive Mark Forrest being given the boot last week, after six weeks in the role.

“I think we’ve managed very well in the interim since February (when the previous chief executive left), so we will continue with business as usual,” Ms Hayes said.

It took two rounds of applications to decide on Mr Forrest, but Ms Hayes said she was not concerned about beginning the recruitment process again.

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The ACCI released a statement Monday confirming Mr Forrest had left the organisation but Ms Hayes would not reveal why and Mr Forrest did not respond to a request for comment.

Since the Albany Advertiser broke the story last Friday several business owners have raised concerns about the ACCI and the cost of another recruitment process.

Phil Shilcock, who was previously an ACCI board member, said a lack of clarity regarding the decision had left members in the dark.

“I’d like to understand what’s going on in there and I’d like to see some stability and good governance,” he said.

“It’s an organisation that’s been strong for a long time and has had real benefits for the Albany business community.”

Former member John Hetherington, who was sacked from the ACCI in 2016, called for change.

“The chamber of commerce has been in trouble for years,” he said.

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