The man at the centre of the 7-Eleven wage scandal has stepped down from his role on the “prestigious” Australian Olympic Comittee (AOC), according to reports.
7-Eleven Australia founder Russell Withers met with AOC President John Coates on Wednesday, to discuss Mr Withers’ future on the AOC executive committee, reported Fairfax.
Mr Withers’ retirement followed that conversation.
AOC president John Coates thanked Mr Withers for his role in the Olympic Movement.
“Russell has made an outstanding contribution to the AOC since 2001,” Mr Coates said in a statement.
“It is a voluntary role and he has been extremely generous with his time and we have benefited greatly from his input as Chairman of the AOC Audit Committee, a member of the AOC Finance Commission and as a Director of the Australian Olympic Foundation and member of its Investment Advisory Committee.”
According an earlier AOC statement, Mr Withers contacted Mr Coates after an investigation revealed widespread underpayment of staff at 7-Eleven’s 620 stores across Australia.
“I wanted to let you know that I am in your hands and happy to either stand aside or stand down from my AOC roles,” Mr Withers said in correspondence with the AOC.
“I certainly don’t want to see any blow-back onto the AOC, particularly when the AOC runs to such high governance standards.”
Mr Withers is a former equestrian athlete and longtime financial supporter of the sport in Australia.
He chair’s the AOC’s audit committee. The committee is charged with “ensuring the AOC meets governance and accounting standards,” according to Fairfax.
In response to the revelations, 7-Eleven has created a company-funded panel to review any claims of underpayment by current or former employees.
It will also increase financial support to and refund any disgruntled franchisees.