Founder, CEO quits after court ruling

Founder, CEO quits after court ruling

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Onthehouse chief executive officer, founder and managing director Michael Fredericks has resigned from his position, effective immediately.

Mr Fredericks was the founder of the Onthehouse consumer online business and drove the strategy that saw the purchase of real estate software business Console and Portplus, the property data and AVM business, Residex and the Real Estate Advertising Network.

Mr Fredericks founded the company in 2007 and led its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange in 2011.

Non-executive chair Gail Pemberton will operate as interim CEO until October 13, when Anthony Scotton will take the reins until a replacement is found.

Mr Fredericks was recently embroiled in a legal battle with an investor and said he quit as chief executive after the board failed to support him.

Former investor, Brisbane lawyer Phil Heraghty had previously taken legal action against Mr Fredericks for "failing to hand over documents relating to a private trust".

“There was never any issue of dishonesty, impropriety or misappropriation of monies,” Mr Fredericks told the Australian Associated Press on Thursday, adding he was disappointed in the way the board had handled the matter.

“I felt it would have been better for the board to have been supportive of me while the matter was being addressed.

“The civil action never alleged impropriety and was not linked to my role as the head of Onthehouse…  Given the level of commitment I had in the company, I was extremely busy and much slower than I should have been in finishing some documentation around the trust.”

An independent investigation conducted by the Onthehouse board found the dispute between Mr Heraghty and Mr Fredericks was a private civil matter.

The civil matter, heard in the Queensland Supreme Court in late September, related to Mr Heraghty’s claim that $50,000 intended for the trust had been used for personal expenses.

Mr Heraghty’s lawyer, Stephen Russell, refused to make any comment. 

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