Executive Chairman Mike Hammes later said on a conference call that he had urged Truong to change his behaviour but a “sincere change” had not occurred.
The previous CEO of James Hardie Industries JHX. AX said on Monday he was thinking about legal action against the Australian building materials giant, which fired him last week refering to worries over his direct and the management style. The world’s top fiber cement items producer on Friday terminated CEO Jack Truong, saying many top executives had taken steps to stop because of his direct, which was not amended regardless of rehashed calls to do as such and penetrated its code of conduct.
“I was blindsided by the termination and unequivocally reject the assertions made by Mr. Hammes and the company,” Truong said in an emailed statement early Monday.
“I’m … proud of the progress we made in building a culture of inclusion and respect with our more than 5,000 devoted employees. Based on employee and customer feedback, it was clear that they recognised our progress,” Truong added.
Truong’s departure came at a time James Hardie has ridden a pandemic housing boom to record profits, and highlighted the growing importance firms are putting on executive conduct beyond just earnings and dividends.
A spokesperson for James Hardie said the board had “provided clear feedback and counselling on the impact that Truong’s behaviours were having on his colleagues on multiple occasions” before terminating his employment.
“This decision was in the best interests of the company, its people and the delivery of its strategy,” the spokesperson added.
Brokerage Citi said it saw little cause for concern in the short-term from Truong’s departure, but that the company’s strategy may have a different feel over the medium-term when Hammes retires.
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