ACS settles with sacked CEO

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) and former CEO Kim Denham have settled the legal case following her termination after only 14 months in the job.

The Australian Computer Society (ACS) and former CEO Kim Denham have settled the legal case following her termination after only 14 months in the job.

Former ACS CEO Kim Denham
(Credit: Australian Computer Society)

"The Australian Computer Society and former CEO Ms Kim Denham wish to advise that the matters in dispute between them have been settled to the satisfaction of both parties," the ACS and Denham said in a joint statement.

In July last year, Denham took ACS to court after being fired from her role on 22 May 2009.

Denham began as CEO for ACS in February 2008, but was terminated in May 2009 — only 14 months into her contract. ACS had declined to comment on the reasons for her termination.

In documents submitted to the Federal Court, Denham claimed the role had been advertised as a three-year contract and that she had taken that into account when incurring costs related to the job. She also argued damage to her reputation.

Denham asserted ACS knew she wanted a three-year minimum contract, as it otherwise wouldn't be "financially viable" for her to relocate from Perth to Sydney. She also described ACS's conduct as misleading and deceptive when it terminated her so soon into her contract.

Denham claimed the ACS had damaged her professional reputation and thus potential future earnings, but also argued ACS had breached the terms of her contract in failing to provide six months pay after terminating her without notice. She returned to Perth shortly after, and insisted ACS cover costs incurred by the move.

The ACS, which filed its defence 24 August, countered that the terms of Denham's contract included annual performance reviews and denied knowledge of Denham's three-year minimum contract demand. The society asserted it had paid $70,642.21 following her termination, or six months pay minus tax. A further $10,000 was also paid to cover her subsequent relocation, despite ACS believing it was under no obligation to do so.

A directions hearing between the two parties occurred on 20 October 2009, and with settlement announced today, both parties have agreed to make no further comment about the terms of their agreement.

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