AS mentioned in my email broadcast on Wednesday, July 18, this leak came into my possession very early.
Notice the title "Strategic Review Conclusion" makes no mention of Toby Marchant leaving! Oldest and most pathetic trick in the book.
When will PPX learn about plain-speak?
However I was travelling from 7 am Tuesday through Friday and lacked the IT resources while on the road to publish the blog, including this priceless piece of Marchant Memorabilia. DRAT.
As predicated by the title, it's TTT - typical Toby tosh. In fairness, I now accept that Toby believes this stuff which is one of the many reasons why he failed as a CEO.
Some extracts worthy of comment:
#2 "It’s Back to Business!" Toby, you were never "in" this business otherwise it wouldn't be where it is today. By "in" I mean in the zone of producing ROE for your owners.
Even at the end you're still rabbiting on about legacy issues which you failed to address while holding grandiose titles over many many years. Toby, IMO you are the legacy issue closely followed by those who appointed and tolerated you for so long.
#4 "We have the funds to fix this business" BUT not the people at the top, otherwise the shares wouldn't be at 4.5 cents. Toby then goes on to explain how the funds will be employed. It's actually none of his concern. Sometimes less is more.
#5 "I am handing over the baton" NO, the baton was finally taken away from you but nice spin anyway.
Nov 1, 2010 - Jul 31, 2012 is 21 months and more than enough time to prove the board made a serious error of judgement. Harry Boon is the only remaining member of the board that appointed Toby Marchant and has supported him at his own peril.
The honourable thing for Harry Boon to do is to resign too as he'll never win another EGM vote - NEVER.
Then follows more platitudinous crap. "I have a deep and permanent affection for this business" which explains why he never bought any shares until April 2012 in a last ditch attempt to save his job. That was over eight years since PPX bought Buhrmann in Nov 2003 and in doing so acquired Toby Marchant as MD of Robert Horne Group.
Toby, it's OK to say you failed - just like every child cannot win a podium position at the school sports.
You should have had the wit and decency to resign the afternoon of EGM1 because Simon Marais (Orbis, the largest shareholder with 18%+) was clear that he supported the sacking of Harry Boon because he couldn't sack you directly. That is all documented for posterity.
Don't forget that Simon Marais has "balls of steel", so Harry will endure your legacy for a long and uncomfortable time.
Was it Push or Jump?
Financial journalists are a polite lot; I guess because they need to stay in favour with the corporate world. I've never seen so many euphemisms for the word "sacked":
The nearest to the truth was "turfed out" by Michael Smith of Chanticleer fame at the AFR, whereas his colleague and close confidant of PaperlinX, Michael Hobbs, used the more genteel "PaperlinX CEO to step down".
Three Company facts confirming dismissal:
- Toby Marchant will be paid 12 months which is the Company Notice/Payment Period on termination by dismissal; by contrast the Executive Notice Period for Toby Marchant is six months - see page 22, 2011 Annual Report.
- This is confirmed on page 4 of 4 in Toby's notice of appointment issued to the ASX on Oct 1, 2010.
- On page 3 of 3 of the announcement to the ASX of July 17, it clearly states". ..12 months ... in lieu of notice ..."
In the spirit of truth and transparency, Toby Marchant was sacked and paid 12 months in lieu of notice.
Frankly, GBP 530,000 is a small price to pay to be rid of Toby Marchant. It may also send a stiff message to other non-performers at Northampton. I'm assured by good judges that the middle ranks are bloated.
Idea. Why not give Toby his beloved Milton Keynes in specie, in full and final settlement of the GBP 530,000.
When did it go off the rails for Toby? Tony Kennedy resigned on April 11, 2012, a respectable 19 days after the EGM. Top bloke Tony. Why did he resign after serving 22 years on three continents?
That gave Tony Clarke the opportunity to go to the UK which occurred around April 14 through late June, circa 11 weeks, which was more than necessary to recruit Richard Barfield.
That was the end for Toby Marchant.