BNN lifts suspension on two staff after PwC report
Source - SMW
BNN Technology has lifted the suspensions of group chief executive Darren Mercer and China CEO Wei Qi following an investigation into allegations by PwC, commissioned by an independent committee of the board.
BNN said the report contained a number of recommended actions for the independent committee to undertake.
It said these recommendations were largely focused around the remediation of a number of issues connected to corporate governance, culture and compliance.
It said it was the independent committee's intention to implement all of these recommendations as soon as is practicable.
BNN said the independent committee's first initiatives were to lift the suspension of Mercer and Wei.
It said: 'As part of this action, Mr Mercer has, by mutual agreement, resigned from his role as chief executive officer and a director on the Board, and instead has taken up a new position of director of strategic partnerships and business development, a role which will be primarily based in Hong Kong.
'This role will enable Mr Mercer to focus on his key commercial strengths which the Independent Committee considers will provide significant benefits to the Group.
'Mr Mercer will not be reappointed to the Board at this time.
'It has been agreed by Mr Mercer and the Independent Committee that Mr Mercer will pay off the outstanding loan in existence between him and the Company by 31 December 2017.'
A statement added: 'With the full support of the Independent Committee and the company's advisers, Mr Wei has been reinstated in his role as China CEO with immediate effect.
'The Board is delighted that Mr Wei has agreed to recommence his work in this role immediately and the Independent Committee looks forward to him once again driving BNN's business forward in China.
'Mr Wei will not be reappointed to the Board at this time, but it is anticipated that he will re-join a reconstituted, strengthened Board in due course.
'The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Wei and Mr Mercer for their co-operation during this difficult time.'
BNN said the independent committee expected to announce the appointment of an interim CFO in the near future, with a view to the candidate becoming CFO and joining the board in due course.
Chairman Harry Keiley said: 'We have accepted PwC's findings in full and will implement all of their recommendations to improve the governance and culture within BNN.
'The Board was already aware of certain issues and was already in the process of addressing them prior to receiving the allegations referred to in the announcement of 4 September 2017.
'The PwC Report has only increased the urgency of that process even further. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Wei back to his role as CEO of our China business and are confident that Mr Mercer will generate substantial benefits for the business in his new role overseeing Strategic Partnerships and Business Development.
'In the meantime, BNN is committed to strengthening its Board and putting in place processes to ensure that the best standards of governance and corporate culture are always adhered to.
'We are grateful to our shareholders for their ongoing support and patience during this challenging time.
'We are working as hard as possible to reorganise the Board, prepare BNN for its next phase of growth and return the Company's shares to trading on AIM.'
The shares remain suspended until the company has announced its new constituted board and executive management.