Karen Lobendhan Stays Fiji TV CEO

It is understood Mrs Lobendhan had tendered her resignation, after what was described as a heated board meeting.
11 Sep 2020 10:42
Karen Lobendhan Stays Fiji TV CEO
Fiji Television chief executive officer Karen Lobendahn.

The board drama at Fiji Television Limited (Fiji TV) appears to be over.

Chief executive officer Karen Lobendhan is understood to have withdrawn her resignation.

Mrs Lobendhan is now understood  to be heading the restructure at Fiji TV under the supervision of parent company, Fijian Holdings Limited (FHL).

It is understood Mrs Lobendhan had tendered her resignation, after what was described as a heated board meeting.

During the heated board meeting, it was understood that she said she was resigning amidst questions over the company’s performance in the current difficult media environment.

The questions from one board member in particular are understood to have raised temperatures.

It also is understood that Mrs Lobendhan’s resignation letter was later recalled after discussions with Fiji TV board members.

SunBiz had previously reported, that a board member who did not wish to be identified, said Mrs Lobendahn was given time to improve the company’s performance.

FHL acting chief executive officer and Fiji TV director Abilash Ram said they would release a statement through the SPX today about the issue.

Fiji TV’s audited financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2020 released by the SPX on August 31, highlighted:

νTotal Group Revenue for the financial year 2020 stood at $9.1 million in comparison to $11.9m last year.

νThis is a 24 per cent reduction in the revenue compared to the same period last year.

νMajority of the revenue drop was a result of the impact of COVID-19. Net Profit after tax for the group was $262,544 compared to $1,201,963 last year.

νFiji TV’s net assets reduced by 2 per cent from the previous year and stood at $14.9m as at balance date.

νDuring the financial year the company declared and paid an interim dividend of $515,000 in January 2020.

Company chairman, Deepak Rathod said: “This has been a challenging year for Fiji TV with a general slowdown of the economy in the later part of 2019 and the added impact of COVID – 19 from early 2020 leading to the cancellation of major sporting events dramatically affecting our revenue and therefore our bottom line.

The statement highlighted that the board and management have started the process of reviewing the operations and structure to meet the changing landscape as a result of the impact of COVID-19.

“The year ahead will be very challenging and many tough decisions will need to be taken as well as creative strategies are implemented to ensure the Group’s continued profitability.

“I am confident that expertise within the board and management will see us through these tough times” Mr Rathod said.

About Mrs Lobendahn

Mrs Lobendahn was the first female chief executive officer of the company when she took up the lead role in June, 2017.

She served as acting chief executive officer from February 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017

Mrs Lobendahn was general manager of international at Fiji Television Limited from June 29, 2015, to February 1, 2017.

She has served Fiji Television for the past 20 years.

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