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Seven CEO Worner under pressure

AAP logoAAP 20/12/2016 Peter Trute

Seven West Media is under pressure to replace CEO Tim Worner next year following revelations the network boss had an affair with a junior colleague who later received a confidential settlement after leaving the company.

The Australian Shareholders' Association has called on Seven West's board to start planning for Mr Worner's exit from the top job next year, saying the controversy around his 2012 affair with former company executive assistant Amber Harrison cannot be put to rest while he retains his position.

ASA director Stephen Mayne said the reputational damage to Seven West would not be fully resolved until the company has a new CEO and said the succession plan is "something they should progress in 2017".

"We are not saying that Tim Worner should be marched out of the building but we are saying that Seven needs to activate its succession management plans in 2017," Mr Mayne said.

"It's hard to see how an issue like this can be fully put behind Seven in the medium term with the CEO in place."

A statement from Seven West late on Monday revealed the broadcaster made a confidential settlement with Ms Harrison, a former executive assistant to the company's magazines boss, more than two years ago, with payments made to her as part of the terms.

Mr Worner said he is "filled with the deepest shame and regret" over the two-year affair, which was widely reported in media on Monday after Ms Harrison went public with complaints about her treatment by the company.

Seven West has stood by Mr Worner, saying in the statement that chairman Kerry Stokes had made it clear the conduct was "completely unacceptable" but affirming he will stay on as CEO.

Seven West shares rose six per cent to 79.5 cents on Tuesday, recovering most of a price plunge suffered on Monday in the wake of the affair revelations.

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