BREAKFAST DEALS: Echo's risky hand

Echo's leadership transition could the open the door to predators, while Whitehaven tries to dispel the latest Tinkler rumours.

There might be some compelling reasons for Echo Entertainment to look for a new chief executive. But the departure of a director who apparently opposed the decision has underlined a crucial point – changing leaders when you’re being stalked is risky. Whitehaven Coal is fighting perceptions about boardroom upheaval, although it’s difficult to see what Nathan Tinkler would get out of it. Also, Dick Smiths is finally away, while Seven’s rivals have had their say on a bigger CMH stake.

Echo Entertainment, James Packer, KT Lim

The remaining senior figures at Echo Entertainment spent yesterday trying to keep up the impression that the company is choosing to take on a new chief at a time when transition is somewhat organic.

The alternative view is that chief executive Larry Mullin and long-serving director Brett Paton have been dumped at a time when the company can least afford it – when billionaire’s James Packer and KT Lim are circling.

"The board unanimously thanks Mr Mullin for his leadership of the business,” the company said in a statement to the market yesterday.

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