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James Henderson: Bell Pottinger exit in best interest of company

James Henderson stepped down as the CEO of Bell Pottinger at the weekend following a finding by the Public Relations and Communications Association.

Bell Pottinger's former CEO James Henderson says it’s in the best interest of the agency for him to step down. Picture: PRweek.com

CAPE TOWN - Bell Pottinger's former CEO James Henderson says it’s in the best interest of the agency for him to step down.

The agency has found itself in a public relations nightmare over work it did for a Gupta company in South Africa.

An independent investigation was launched and led by a United Kingdom law firm, which looked at the company's conduct in South Africa.

In a statement, Henderson says that after studying the findings of the probe, he decided that it’s time for new leadership at Bell Pottinger.

He's reiterated that he had nothing to do with the Oakbay account, claiming that he was misled by his colleagues.

Despite this, Henderson says that as a CEO, he accepts that he has must take ultimate executive responsibility.

By vacating his position, Henderson says he is putting the best interests of the agency and its staff first.

It is understood that he will, however, remain on the firm's board

Meanwhile, the findings of the investigation are expected to be made public later on Monday.

READ: The Herbert Smith Freehills Review on Bell Pottinger

Findings of Herbert Smith Freehills Review by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

'NOT SOMETHING TO BE LAUDED'

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says Henderson's resignation is not something to be lauded.

The party's Phumzile van Damme says: “True valour would have been Henderson accepting our request to pay back the money that Bell Pottinger earned from the Gupta account, as well as giving South Africa full disclosure of the contract Bell Pottinger entered into.”

The party says that Henderson owns 40% of the public relations firm and remains a majority shareholder.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)