The work culture and leadership of owner Bruce Gordon at free-to-air television network WIN Corp has come under close scrutiny following the release of a sworn affidavit by former WIN executive Rod Hockey containing a long list of allegations that suggest the company's leadership was riddled with gossip and backstabbing, according to The Australian Financial Review.
Among Mr Hockey's allegations, he claims the 84-year-old Mr Gordon threatened to punch out a senior executive and that a dysfunctional relationship between Mr Gordon and his son, Andrew, who is WIN's executive chairman, are at the core of the company's problems.
Mr Hockey, who worked for the company for 27 years, is suing WIN for alleged deceptive conduct, claiming nearly $400,000 in damages.
The former general manager claims the elder Mr Gordon regularly bullied senior staff, alleging that in July 2010 he received a phone call from the elder Mr Gordon after then-chief executive John Hatcher had warned Mr Hockey that Mr Gordon had been drinking.
“You're a f---ing pick,” Mr Hockey claims Mr Gordon said, according to the AFR. “You slandered me with your mate Don Clode and [former CEO] David Butorac. I don't want you working for this company ... If I was 20 years younger I would walk down there and knock you out.”
Mr Hockey claims that the elder Mr Gordon sought to actively undermine his son beginning as early as 2007, when he allegedly asked Mr Hockey to keep him informed about his son's activities.
“You could be our next CEO,” Bruce Gordon allegedly told Mr Hockey. “You are not to relate this conversation to [then CEO] George [Papadopoulo], nor to Andrew [Gordon] as he is under George's spell.”
As Mr Hockey's relationship with Bruce Gordon deteriorated, Andrew Gordon advised Mr Hockey to apply for an alternative position that would allow him to opt out of his contract if the bullying continued.
“The old man is 82,” Andrew Gordon reportedly told Mr Hockey. “How much longer can he continue to run it? Just take this role and it will all work out. I can't believe he is putting Wankcaster [Lancaster] into the CEO's role.”