Partial privatisation studies included in DB restructuring
The Next Federal Election and Passenger and Freight Rail
Transport and Logistics symposium to gauge railway link
Rail gets another CRC. Third time lucky?
Chinese high speed rail should confine the XPT to history
Hendy heads to NR
Urban rail news in brief - July 2015
Inland rail a trifecta for Toowoomba region: mayor
THE chief executive of Pacific National, the rail freight company owned jointly by Patrick Corp and hostile takeover suitor Toll Holdings, has quit amid claims he was threatened and intimidated by Toll directors.
Stephen O'Donnell tendered his resignation to the PN board yesterday, saying his position had become untenable.
"I have found recent threats and intimidatory behaviour by one of the Toll directors to be completely unacceptable to me both personally and as a professional manager," he wrote in a letter seen by The Australian.
It is understood Mr O'Donnell first became concerned about harassment by an unnamed Toll director after receiving 20 emails demanding information about the performance of PN within three hours of the launch of Toll's takeover bid for Patrick in August.
A Toll spokesman said the company regretted Mr O'Donnell's decision to resign, but would not comment on his reasons for leaving.
"We thank him for his contribution as part of an outstanding Toll and Patrick team that has built a thriving business in Pacific National," he said.
But Mr O'Donnell's letter paints a different picture of PN, saying the relationship between Toll and Patrick had been destroyed by a dispute over a controversial contract between PN and Toll's Queensland subsidiary Toll North.
"Contributing to my decision to resign is that it is now clear to me that the Pacific National Queensland dispute has led to an irreparable breakdown in the relationship between shareholders," he said.
Patrick is seeking to have PN broken up over the contract, which it claims is uneconomic and would cost the rail freight business $510 million in revenue over 20 years while giving Toll complete control over PN's Queensland rail network.
Mr O'Donnell's letter also appears to support Patrick's allegation that the Pacific National executives who negotiated the contract with Toll had a clear conflict of interest because they were still on the Toll payroll at the time.
"The aberrant behaviour by one of the Toll employees accountable for the PN Queensland contract, who now refuses to accept my termination of his secondment to Pacific National, confirms in my mind the need to resign as CEO," he wrote.
His resignation follows the standing-down of PN commercial general manager Robert Jeremy and chief operating officer Mal Grimmond, on secondment from Toll and put on extended leave last month pending outcome of the dispute.
Mr O'Donnell, who joined PN in 2002, said he was prepared to serve out the two-month notice period specified in his contract.
The news came as Toll and Patrick argue over the appointment of an arbitrator to assess if the contract dispute was significant enough to PN to warrant dissolving the joint venture.
© The Australian
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2021 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.