on air now

‘They’re hell’: The differences between chairing a public and private company

ABC chairman Justin Milne has fallen on his sword amid allegations he pushed for staff to be sacked to appease the federal government.

The saga has caused Chris Kenny to pose the question: what are the differences between chairing a private or public company?

Former president of the Business Council, and chair of numerous public and private companies, Tony Shepherd tells Chris Kenny Mr Milne probably misunderstood the priorities and challenges of chairing a public entity like the ABC.

 “In private companies, you are there as the representative of the shareholder,” he says.

“But when you get into these public entities like government authorities… you seem to have a much wider level of responsibility.

“And once you get politics into it, it makes it even more complicated and difficult.

“To have a national broadcaster it must be apolitical and it has to make sure it is, in it’s reporting… accurate and fair and impartial.”

Mr Shepherd says to properly prepare yourself to chair a public company is quite difficult and “you’ve got to live it… I tell you they’re hell”.

“They’re just such hard work, they’re just so complicated.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview