CNA, Benjamin Trisk at loggerheads

Source: Big News Newtwork

Benjamin Trisk resigned as CEO in April and has already left the stationery retailer, the company said on Friday.

But according to Trisk, he has not resigned and has made this “abundantly clear”.

He told Fin24 on Saturday that there “was no resignation letter'” and that there was no demand for compensation for his exit.

CNA director Rob Shortt told Fin24 that Trisk tendered his resignation on 19 April and it was accepted by the retailer’s board. His last day at the company was on 19 May, Shortt said.

Trisk, however, says his “vision for the company to be a success remains intact”.

He further described the situation as “toxic”, saying that it “does none of us credit”.

“It is however disappointing that in the work to build the organisation since acquiring it at a very uncertain time in our country, we have reached another difficult hurdle. I still am optimistic that we will overcome current challenges and am currently engaging the company’s board to reach an agreement on these,” he said.

Responding to Trisk’s denial that he had resigned, Shortt said the matter could be escalated via legal channels.

“We stand by our statement. Benjamin has resigned and we have accepted his resignation. If he feels that our view is incorrect, he must take the matter to another forum be it the CCMA or the Labour Court. The directors remain committed to the welfare of the business,” Shortt said.

The board had previously accused Trisk of attempting to put the company in business rescue without consulting them, a claim he dismissed at the time as “complete rubbish”, as according to him the board had discussed the matter on March 30.

Shortt did not want to comment on whether CNA will apply for business rescue.

As news of the all-out fight between Trisk and the board broke earlier in May, the company’s biggest shareholder bailed out.

Investment company Astoria announced at the time that it sold its stake in CNA Holdings to management. Just over a year ago, Astoria purchased 70% of CNA for R1.2 million from Edcon. Astoria said it received the same amount back for its stake.

Shortt confirmed to Fin24 on Friday that Trisk was still a shareholder in CNA. Trisk, the former CEO of Exclusive Books, holds 30% of CNA.

News24 recently reported on court documents that detailed serious charges levelled at Trisk during his time at Exclusive Books.

These include an unauthorised salary hike, a series of cash advances and cavalier splurges with a company credit card.


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