GrainCorp boss goes 'with immediate effect'

GrainCorp Managing Director and CEO Mark Irwin resigns "with immediate effect" after less than two years in the job

January 21, 2010

GrainCorp Managing Director and CEO Mark Irwin has resigned "with immediate effect" after less than two years in the job.

Irwin will be replaced by the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Ian Wilton, while GrainCorp conducts an immediate search for a new managing director and CEO.

GrainCorp is silent on Irwin’s departure, which comes with a $750,000 package made up of cash, incentive payments and shares.

Chairman Don Taylor paid tribute to Irwin for his contribution.

"Mr Irwin has driven significant change within GrainCorp since he became managing director in March 2008," Taylor says.

"He successfully led the acquisition in November 2009 of United Malt Holdings and introduced a range of internal reforms."

Irwin’s departure comes as GrainCorp prepares to go another round in court against the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) over claims it breached its obligations under chain of responsibility.

Despite two courts throwing out the RTA’s claims that GrainCorp should be prosecuted for overloading breaches, the roads department last year confirmed it would launch another appeal.

GrainCorp faced fines of $18.23 million and allegations of 332 mass loading breaches for accepting overloaded trucks in 2005.

In the latest ruling, the Supreme Court in November last year ruled GrainCorp did its best to fulfil its obligations under chain of responsibility laws.

"The RTA has filed a notice with the Supreme Court which states it intends to appeal the decision. The RTA now has until 12 February 2010 to appeal," an RTA spokesman says.

The findings prompted the NSW Government to launch a review into the laws to determine if they needed to be strengthened.

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