It’s a pity Kerry Stokes and Seven Media doesn’t take a leaf out of AFL head office’s book and clean up Seven Media’s corporate culture.

ABC News Australia

Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss, senior AFL executives, resign over ‘inappropriate relationships’

14 July 2017

Two senior AFL executives, Simon Lethlean and Richard Simkiss, have resigned from their positions for “inappropriate relationships with two younger women who work in the AFL industry”.

Leathlean was the AFL’s football operations manager and Simkiss the league’s commercial manager.

“There were two men on my senior executive team who had inappropriate relationships with two younger women who work in the AFL industry,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

“I’m not going to talk to specific details about anything other than to say, I’ve got a duty of care to a lot of people here.

“The men have taken accountability for their actions. They’ve owned these issues.”

McLachlan said the AFL had been making meaningful strides forward in commitment to women in the game, and this was a situation that could not be taken lightly.

“The journey we’re on for a more equal and respectful workplace must be more than just two words. It must be backed up with action and with change,” he said.

“I’d say that we have more women than ever work in our industry, more women than ever work in head office. Three of the nine management team that report to me are women, they are owning this agenda with us.

“We feel that we’ve addressed the issues strongly today. And we’ll continue to make change because it’s a journey and we’re not where we want to be yet.”

McLachlan confirmed Andrew Dillon would step in as acting football manager, and Darren Burcher would take over as acting commercial manager.

He said AFL House would be reeling for a while after the news, but stressed that upholding standards within the AFL was more important than morale.

“It will have an impact for a period, no doubt, I’m not going to shy away from that. This is a tight knit organisation,” McLachlan said.

“But I also know that there are expectations and that people expect them to be upheld.

“So that’s what, in the end, is the expectation of me and our leadership team, to the staff. The staff hold the standards we set.”