News National 7-Eleven chair quits, as does CEO

7-Eleven chair quits, as does CEO

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7-Eleven chairman, billionaire Russ Withers, has resigned from the board of the organisation, as claims of worker exploitation continue to dog the company.

A Senate inquiry was launched into the convenience store giant, following allegations thousands of workers were underpaid by franchise operators.

Former workers also claimed the company charged employees from $30,000 to $70,000 to sponsor them on their visa.

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Chief executive Warren Wilmot also resigned on Wednesday, with Bob Baily to take over the position.

Michael Smith was appointed to the chairman role, 18 months earlier than the “original 7-Eleven board succession plan”, Mr Withers said.

“Naturally this is a major decision for me to stand aside as Chairman, however I will continue to be a shareholder and I am determined to make sure the company is in the right hands to move forward,” Mr Withers said.

Mr Smith told Fairfax media on Thursday he would work to fix the pay scandal problems and repair the chain’s reputation.

Mr Smith said the saga had been a “horrible experience”.

He joined the 7-Eleven board in 1999 and became deputy chairman in August 2014.

In a statement, 7-Eleven also said work to resolve allegations of under paid workers had been ongoing.

“Prior to recent media coverage of the matter, the company was working closely with the Fair Work Ombudsman in conjunction with international accounting firm Ernst and Young to investigate allegations of franchisees underpaying workers,” the company said.

“Any valid claims of underpayment will be met by 7-Eleven in lieu of seeking recompense from the relevant franchisees.”

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