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David Kirk resigns as Fairfax CEO

Friday 5th December 2008

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David Kirk resigned as chief executive of Fairfax Media and will leave today, the company said in a statement.

It gave no explanation for the sudden move. Brian McCarthy, who had been Kirk's deputy, steps up as acting CEO pending a board meeting on Dec. 10.

Chairman Ronald Walker praised Kirk's performance in the past three years, a period during which the company repositioned itself as a multi-media platform. The Trade Me auction site is among its assets.

Kirk said is now "far advanced" on local and international peers "in adapting the business to the modern digital world." Fairfax stock was recently down 2.7% to A$1.45 and has tumbled 68% in the past 12 months.

Kirk last month told shareholders at their annual meeting that he was aware they were "greatly concerned about our share price." In the first quarter of the current year EBITDA was about 15% below the same period of 2007, he said on Nov. 13 Second quarter earnings will also fall, "by mid single digit percentages," reflecting cost cuts.

By Jonathan Underhill



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