James Hardie CEO says he was ‘blindsided’ by bullying claims, sacking

James Hardie Industries’ recently fired chief executive, Jack Truong, says he “unequivocally” rejects the building materials giant’s claims that he bullied and intimidated colleagues.

The $23 billion ASX-listed group on Friday sacked Dr Truong over what it said was his “intimidating, threatening” and disrespectful behaviour which created a hostile work environment and prompted complaints from staff.

James Hardie CEO Jack Truong.
James Hardie CEO Jack Truong.

Chairman Mike Hammes said the company gave Dr Truong the opportunity to change his management style, but this did not occur, and that his actions were a material breach of James Hardie’s code of conduct.

But Dr Truong disputed the allegations in a brief statement released on Monday morning.

“I was blindsided by the termination and unequivocally reject the assertions made by Mr Hammes and the company,” he said.

Dr Truong said that since his appointment as CEO in February 2019, the group had “exceeded all expectations” in transforming the company, delivering substantial sales and profit growth while its share price more than tripled.

“I’m equally proud of the progress we made in building a culture of inclusion and respect with our more than 5000 devoted employees,” he said. “Based on employee and customer feedback, it was clear that they recognised our progress.”

James Hardie shares fell as much as 11 per cent on Friday before closing 4.1 per cent lower at $51.54, wiping about $1 billion from its market value.

The fall was despite the company upgrading its net earnings guidance for the year ending in March from an upper range of $US600 million ($835 million) to an upper range of $US625 million ($870 million).

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Source: Thanks smh.com