[full statement from Mark McInnes below] This is awkward. When these allegations first came up a couple of months ago and DJs CEO Mark McInnes was forced to resign, I received many media calls asking for comment and many emails from readers asking me to post about it. I declined due to a conflict of interest. Mark McInnes is a family friend and I’ve known him since I was a kid.
Awkward. (Almost as awkward as it was today at the David Jones fashion show where there was one giant elephant in the room according to my friends who were there…..you can see the shots here).
But after wrestling with it, I’ve decided it’s too important a story for Mamamia to ignore. So I’m going to publish this post and then sit this one out -beyond emphatically stating that I believe what Mark did was wrong. And adding that I also know a very different side of him.
Retailer David Jones tolerated ongoing sexual misconduct by its chief executive Mark McInnes, according to a former publicist suing the company for more than $37 million.
Kristy Anne Fraser-Kirk also said when she complained about his conduct she was told: “Next time that happens, you just need to be very clear and say ‘no Mark’ and he’ll back off.”
Her complaints ultimately led to him resigning on June 18.
Mr McInnes admitted behaving “in a manner unbecoming of a chief executive to a female staff member” at two recent company functions.
After her statement of claim was lodged in the Federal Court on Monday, Ms Fraser-Kirk told reporters in Sydney she had just wanted to be treated with respect.
“I’m a young woman standing here today simply because I said it wasn’t OK, because I said that this should never happen to me, or to anyone,” the 27-year-old said.
One thing I will say is that I’ve noticed that there is a bit of a generational difference of attitudes on this one. What do you think?
UPDATE: 3:20PM, AUG 4
Mark McInnes issued a statement via his publicist Sue Cato at 2.40pm today:
“I offered my resignation to David Jones because I had behaved in a
manner unbecoming of a chief executive officer – I made mistakes and I
have acknowledge those mistakes. Having said that I reject many of the
recent specific allegations and legally I have no alternative other than
to vigorously contest them and I will.
It is public record that I left the company as soon as practicable to
try to minimise further impact and to allow the complainant to continue
her career with David Jones and to allow David Jones to continue to
focus on delivering shareholder value. I apologised to all concerned –
most particularly to the complainant. And I apologise again today.
My partner Lisa and I will be returning to Australia shortly to allow me
to begin working with my legal team. I ask that people allow the legal
process to run its course. I am restricted from further comments until
the appropriate time in that process.” – Mark McInnes
And now , Alannah Hill has issued an apology – this story just won’t quit.
“…one day after her comments were criticised for trivialising a serious situation, Hill went on Melbourne radio today to make an apology – of sorts.
“Look, I know they are really serious allegations and I’ve never really worked in the corporate sector, and I understand sexual harassment would be unbearable. I know people get so stressed they can’t even go to work. I feel terrible for that girl and I feel stupid for myself and I really, really humbly apologise.”