Governance News — 8 April 2014: developments in Australia and overseas

Board and directors: An Australian academic has set out three key ‘dimensions’ for boards to consider when contemplating whether or not to obtain independent advice. In the US, to help boards engage with shareholders, the National Association of Corporate Directors has released a new report summarising the findings of its meetings with major investors on ‘critical governance issues’ for 2014.

Executives, secretaries and officers: After five-and-a-half years as chief executive officer (CEO) of the National Australia Bank, Cameron Clyne has decided to resign; the head of the bank’s New Zealand operations, Andrew Thorburn, will assume the top position on 1 August. Meanwhile, the newly appointed CEO of software company Mozilla has resigned due to a backlash over his 2008 donation to an organisation opposing gay marriage.

Directors’ and officers’ duties: The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has commenced legal action against Mariner Corporation Ltd three of its current and former directors in relation to the company’s failed takeover bid for Austock Group. Additionally, three former Kleenmaid directors are facing 18 charges of insolvent trading and two fraud charges (including for an alleged $13m [£8m] fraud on Westpac)…

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