Cleanaway CEO Vik Bansal to resign

Cleanaway CEO Vik Bansal to resign

The CEO of Cleanaway (ASX: CWY) Vik Bansal (pictured) will step down from his role as part of an "orderly leadership transition", just months after staring down workplace bullying accusations.

According to Cleanaway, the decision about Bansal's future was mutually agreed upon by both the board and Bansal, citing his six-year tenure as CEO.

"Having had an opportunity to reflect on his future priorities over the Christmas and New Year period, Mr Bansal advised the board he would like the leadership transition to commence in the first half of calendar 2021," says Cleanaway.

"The board and Mr Bansal mutually agreed that it is the right time for Cleanaway to move forward under new leadership."

Cleanaway chairman Mark Chellew thanked Bansal for his service to the company.

"We thank Vik for his contribution in achieving a significant turnaround of Cleanaway over his period as Chief Executive Officer," Chellew said.

"Vik has led Cleanaway's transformation and growth with enormous dedication, and it shows in the company's financial results.

"We thank him for his service and we wish him all the very best for the future."

The outgoing CEO will stay on to deliver the interim FY21 results, scheduled to be handed down on 19 February, and will remain available to assist the board with the leadership transition.

Meanwhile, outgoing CFO Brendan Gill will delay his retirement and stay on in the role of COO to support chairman Chellew and incoming CFO Paul Binfield in the period prior to the transition to a new CEO.

Bansal's resignation comes just four months after the Australian Financial Review published allegations that Bansal bullied and intimidated employees at Cleanaway.

According to the AFR, Bansal was investigated in June 2020 over accusations he led a "culture of bullying and harassment", with sources claiming he would swear at staff and exclude women from promotion opportunities.

Sources who spoke to the AFR also alleged the company's board, chaired by Mark Chellew, failed to probe Bansal's behaviour for several years.

Cleanaway responded to the issues raised, claiming a range of measures had been introduced including executive leadership mentoring, enhanced reporting, and monitoring of the CEO's conduct following an investigation into his behaviour.

However, Bansal did not offer up an apology.

"I accept the feedback and remain totally committed to creating a progressive culture at Cleanaway while executing on our strategy and delivering ongoing financial performance," Bansal said.

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