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iiNet CFO Buckingham leading race to succeed founder Malone

iiNet's acting CEO and chief financial officer David Buckingham is looking to be a likely replacement for Michael Malone who today resigned from his CEO position.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Following the resignation of iiNet founder Michael Malone, the company has hinted that the company's acting CEO and chief financial officer David Buckingham is a likely candidate to take over the CEO position.

While iiNet chairman Michael Smith said the company is looking both locally and globally for a replacement, he believes Buckingham's work during Malone's four month sabbatical is commendable.

"We're in great shape," Smith said. "We've really enjoyed David's leadership, and we've been checking in Australia and internationally, the prospect of a new CEO, but it'd need to be an extraordinary person to beat David into this job."

Malone agreed and said he is leaving the company while it is a "good position".

"Now is a good time because business is in the best shape it has been in, and it's worth noting since I've been away on holidays that share prices has gone up by more than 10 percent, so I'm hoping when I resign it will go up 20-30 percent," he said.

He also went to say that Buckingham's efforts to getting the company ready for the rollout of the NBN has been admirable.

"We're still wining 25 percent of market share in the NBN and I think in terms of our brand, by far we're in the best position to take advantage of it. We've seen the NBN as an opportunity and not as a risk," Malone said

"It's in the right time to go. David's got a good 6-12 months of being able to try to take advantage of the stuff his already got in place, like merging the businesses together and to really start laying down sheets to take us to FY15 and beyond, and the NBN is certainly one of those."

Despite leaving the company, Malone said the thought of coming back to a "nine-to-five" role didn't thrill him, and reaffirmed he will remain loyal to the company as a shareholder.

"We have no intention to sell on the stock we've got. I think the company is in a healthy position. We sold out stock in September and that has given us good cash back, and certainly there is no requirement to sell from a financial perspective. We expect to be in regular contact with the company," he said.

For the immidiate future, Malone said he will continue on with his holidays, and hopes to be inspired to be involved in  another business.

"It might be some investments, or it might be a really long holiday".

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