Last week's shock departure of Wisr (ASX: WZR) CEO Anthony Nantes has taken on a new dimension after it was revealed he is the subject of unspecified criminal charges brought by NSW Police.
The fallout has created turmoil for the fintech company after it was also revealed yesterday that chairman John Nantes, the former CEO's brother, is taking a two-month leave of absence.
Wisr announced last week that Anthony Nantes was being replaced as CEO with immediate effect by then CFO Andrew Goodwin.
While the nature of the proceedings against Nantes has not been revealed, Wisr says the termination was not due to ‘any financial irregularity or regulatory contravention’.
“The Wisr board had formed the view over recent months that Anthony was unable to perform the role of CEO to the level required by the board and as such the board took action in terminating his employment agreement,” Wisr says in a statement to the ASX.
“As these matters remain before the courts, the company is not able to comment further.”
In the wake of the Anthony Nantes’ ousting, chairman John Nantes has decided to take a sabbatical from the company in the interests of corporate governance.
“The board recently terminated the employment of Anthony Nantes and is dealing with ongoing matters related to his employment tenure and termination,” John Nantes says in a separate statement to the ASX.
“Although I was not involved in the deliberations which led to Anthony’s termination due to our familial relationship, I support the actions taken by my fellow board members.
“In the interests of good and transparent governance and to allow for the efficient deliberation on and management of issues associated with Anthony’s tenure as CEO and his termination, I requested my board colleagues to grant a leave of absence.
“I hope this will provide confidence to all Wisr stakeholders that all engagement between Wisr and Anthony relating to his employment and termination will be handled without any perception of conflicted interests.”
Matthew Brown, chairman of the company’s audit and risk management committee, has been named interim chairman of the company until John Nantes returns.
The company says despite the leadership changes, Wisr ‘continues to conduct business as usual’.
Wisr last year was named among the top performers of the Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 with revenue growth of 729 per cent.
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