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Coote exits Commander

Coote exits Commander

Coote becomes first management casualty at troubled ASX-listed integrator

Commander managing director, Adrian Coote, has quit the company after four years at the helm. The news of his departure comes just one week after the troubled ASX-listed integrator faced shareholders over its poor financial performance and plummeting share price.

Coote will be immediately replaced as acting managing director by Amanda Lacaze, who was previously executive chairman at Orion Telecommunications. She will officially takeover as CEO and managing director on January 7 and become an executive director. According to a Commander statement, Coote will remain on leave until that time.

Lacaze's resume includes 20 years of management and marketing roles including managing director of marketing for Telstra, AOL/7 CEO and various roles with ICI (now Orica).

In an ASX statement, Commander chairperson, Elizabeth Nosworthy, said Lacaze would focus on rebuilding the business.

"With extensive experience in the telecommunications sector and a proven track record of optimising the performance of public companies, the board is confident Amanda has the skills and experience to set the course for Commander's future success," Nosworthy said.

At its shareholder meeting on November 30, Nosworthy put the brunt of the blame for its financial woes on management's shoulders, and said it had made errors in "executing the company's business strategy". However, she claimed Commander would not make any hasty decisions about changes to management staff in the short-term.

Nosworthy told ARN Coote's departure was the first step in introducing new management.

"We have moved to turn the page for the company and put in a new CEO who is very focused and committed. I'm pleased about the new start for the company," she said. "There's no doubt we have to refresh and strengthen the management team - this will be one of the things on Amanda's list."

Nosworthy also clarified Commander's position on a potential sale, saying the board had not received any bids that it could recommend to shareholders. She added it would not contemplate any proposals for a break-up of the core elements of the company but continue to look for ways to recapitalise the business.

"We will be focused on building the company and maximising shareholder value," she said. "We have ruled out selling any core parts of the business. We've got to focus on providing good customer service and on our franchisees."

Commander has also appointed former Powertel CEO and non-executive chairman of Zingmobile Group, Shane Allen, as a non-executive director.


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