Allegations Droughtmaster Australia directors harassed staff and other members of the board have emerged just days after long-time CEO Neil Donaldson announced his retirement.
Queensland Country Life has learned that Mr Donaldson wrote via email to a select group of members upon his retirement last week, alleging he had intended to stay on in the role until 2021 but was leaving early due to “ongoing aggressive and confrontational harassment by a particular group of directors".
Mr Donaldson, who first joined the breed society in 1997, also wrote that the “unacceptable behaviour of these particular directors” had also influenced the resignation of a number of directors in recent times.
“It is disappointing that I felt compelled to depart prematurely from a lengthy and fulfilling career in the beef industry, however this unwarranted behaviour has made it nearly impossible for me to effectively perform my role of driving the Breed and the Society forward in a progressive and positive manner,” he wrote.
Related reading: Droughtmaster Australia CEO Neil Donaldson steps down
This week, an email was sent to all members from the Droughtmaster Australia board of directors, confirming they were aware of the allegations and that an independent party would be used to investigate the claims.
The email from the board stated that there appeared to be “an element of misinformation” in the allegations made by Mr Donaldson.
“The board wishes to advise that the allegations leveled by the outgoing CEO are presently unsubstantiated and will be subjected to investigation by an independent investigator. Appropriate action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation,” the email reads.
Queensland Country Life has contacted several board members including President Jeff Williams, as well as Mr Donaldson, but none had responded at the time of publishing or were willing to go on the record.