Telstra director leaves over James Hardie affair

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Telstra director leaves over James Hardie affair

Banned from boardrooms for five years and fined $30,000.

Telstra director Peter Willcox has stood down from Telstra after being fined $30,000 and banned from Australian boardrooms for five years last week over his role in the James Hardie asbestos affair.

Willcox and several other former James Hardie directors were charged with breaches of the Corporations Act over allegedly misleading the Australian Stock Exchange with regards to funding available for victims of asbestos poisoning.

Willcox had already tendered his resignation in May, agreeing to stay on with the company until Telstra's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in November.

But a statement from Telstra released yesterday said the director's resignation would be more immediate.

"As a result of orders by the Supreme Court of New South Wales in ASIC v Macdonald today, Peter Willcox has ceased to be a director of Telstra, effective immediately," the Telstra statement said.

Willcox joined the Telstra board during the reign of CEO Sol Trujillo and also sat on the Audit, Nomination, Remuneration, and NBN [National Broadband Network] Committees.

Telstra's remuneration committee has come under fire since the company's earnings call earlier this month, particularly over the $9 million plus paid to Trujillo in his final twelve months, and a $2.2 million bonus given to former Telstra COO Greg Winn.

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