The Metro Nashville Airport Authority on Wednesday fired its CEO for leading a “culture of secrecy and concealment.”
Rob Wigington, who went on medical leave in July, will not receive a severance package because he was fired with cause, reports the Nashville Business Journal.
The vote to remove Wigington was unanimous. Doug Kreulen has been tapped as interim CEO.
In a written report provided by Nashville Business Journal, the first reason board commissioners gave for Wigington’s dismissal was his failure to disclose $2.6 million in incentives for the British Airways direct flight to London announced in August. The board also said he put the Airport Authority in the position of announcing and beginning a $1.2 billion vision plan for Nashville International Airport without having in place a chief financial officer, chief legal officer and chief people officer and no immediate plan for filling those positions.
In addition, the board said Wigington gave excessive severance packages to departing executives, and failed to address significant management issues and communicate with the board about fraud uncovered within the Airport Authority.
Board commissioners said that “a perception exists the Commissioners do not know all the things they should know, in accordance with employment contract provisions concerning oversight by the Board and the CEO’s obligations to the Commissioners so they can meet their fiduciary obligations to the Authority because of a CEO led culture of secrecy and concealment.”
Wigington’s attorney maintains that Wigington was dismissed because of his liver-transplant surgery and is retaliation for the time he took off through the Family Medical Leave Act.
Wigington, who joined the Airport Authority in 2011, is the fourth executive to leave within the past year and a half.
In August in announcing the British Airways flight to London, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry said Nashville’s airport is the fastest growing in the country and has set passenger records for the past four years. The London flight is still on track to launch in May.
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