AUSTRO Group said on Thursday that it had dismissed Austro director and Austro Wood CEO Charles Jacobs, but Mr Jacobs said he had resigned.
Austro Group, a provider of industrial power and woodworking equipment, said Mr Jacobs’s dismissal was effective immediately and followed the outcome of a disciplinary inquiry.
However, Mr Jacobs said he had resigned in writing on Monday and had received acknowledgment in writing from Austro to this effect.
"I resigned and it is incorrect to say that I’ve been dismissed. Details will follow," he said.
Austro said on Thursday in a Sens announcement that, until further notice, Jonathan Freed, MD of New Way Power — a subsidiary of Austro and sister company of Austro Wood — would continue to manage Austro Wood.
He had already done so during Mr Jacobs’s suspension.
Austro nonexecutive director and majority shareholder David Brouze said on Thursday that Mr Jacobs had indeed been dismissed.
"It’s as the (stock exchange) announcement reads," he said.
Austro said last month after it had suspended Mr Jacobs that there would be no "material impact" on the business.
Mr Jacobs’s suspension came months after Tania le Roux resigned as acting group financial director on August 3.
Her resignation came a day after the company released a statement saying it had "resolved" to provide financial assistance to entities or persons related to the company.
Mr Brouze said last month the group had made significant write-offs and had faced "difficulties" over cost controls.
In its financial results for the year ended August, revenue for the year increased 7.9% to R417m over the previous year, but Austro posted a total comprehensive loss of R154.4m in the period, from a profit of R6.4m before.
The group also said its wood division had provided for an onerous lease for one of its premises, which had been sublet.