The CBI Resolves Legal Action Initiated by Dismissed CEO Tony Danker

Tony Danker
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The CBI business group has reached a settlement in the legal action brought by its former CEO, Tony Danker, for wrongful dismissal. Mr. Danker was terminated immediately in 2023 due to complaints regarding his conduct. His departure occurred alongside the revelation of unrelated historical misconduct allegations within the organization. The CBI acknowledged that it has reached an undisclosed settlement with its former director-general.

On Monday, the organization, which purports to advocate for the interests of 170,000 businesses throughout the UK, reaffirmed that Mr. Danker had no involvement in historical allegations. The CBI, a prominent UK lobbying group, faced a crisis last year amid allegations of rape and sexual assault. This led to numerous direct members, such as John Lewis, BMW, and Virgin Media O2, as well as thousands more through trade associations, severing ties with the group. Events were postponed, and the government suspended engagement in economic and business policy discussions with the group, raising concerns about its funding and continued existence.

Before the misconduct allegations surfaced, Mr. Danker faced separate claims regarding his conduct and voluntarily stepped aside while an investigation commenced in March of last year. Criticisms included taking female colleagues to a karaoke bar, arranging one-to-one breakfast meetings with young female colleagues, as well as engaging with and commenting on social media posts and sending personal messages on work platforms. He was dismissed from his position in April 2023.

Following his dismissal, Mr. Danker admitted in a BBC interview that he had caused some staff to feel “very uncomfortable,” expressing remorse with the statement, “I apologise for that.” However, he asserted that he had been unfairly made “the fall guy” for the broader crisis facing the CBI and lamented the complete ruin of his reputation. Brian McBride, the then-president of the CBI, stated to the BBC after Mr. Danker’s departure that he was encouraged to pursue his case through either an employment tribunal or the courts if he believed he had been unfairly treated.

Additionally, he remarked that Mr. Danker’s account of events was “partial.” It is reported that Mr. Danker eventually sought legal counsel from Bruce Carr KC, author of the Carr Review on industrial disputes. On Monday, the CBI disclosed that it had reached a settlement in the case, affirming that its board “also reiterates that Mr. Danker is not linked in any manner to the historical allegations reported in the media regarding issues predating his tenure at the CBI and refutes any such connection.”

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