Dean Barker rejects ETNZ offer

Published on March 9th, 2015

Auckland, NZL (March 10, 2015) – Speaking on behalf of Emirates Team New Zealand, Chairman Keith Turner today confirmed that Dean Barker has decided not to accept the position of Performance Manager/Coach and Executive Team Member offered to him following a four month period of restructure at ETNZ.

Keith Turner said “We are disappointed that we have lost Dean from the team and hold him in the highest regard, but he has made it clear throughout this restructure process that he saw he was best suited to a role on the water as Skipper or sailing director. Despite the media commentary in the last few weeks, all matters between us have been resolved satisfactorily”.

“No settlement payment was made to Dean other than a standard notice period of three months salary.”

“The Board and Management wish Dean well for the future and thank him sincerely for his huge contribution to ETNZ over 20 years” said Mr Turner.

Director and long-time Emirates Team New Zealand supporter Sir Stephen Tindall said, “I personally wish to pay tribute to Dean as an outstanding sportsman I have had the privilege to know personally and professionally. I am pleased that Dean’s team mates will have the opportunity to honour him in their own words at a team farewell in a few days’ time.”

Sir Stephen said “I know that Dean shares our disappointment at the way in which this issue has played out in the media”

It is important that before we can move on from the past few weeks, Emirates Team New Zealand wishes to put the record straight on a number of matters:

· The ETNZ Board and Management, on hearing the “breaking news” that Dean had been dumped as Skipper, immediately issued a statement stating that the information was inaccurate.

· The decision to offer Dean the role of Performance Manager/Coach, and to offer the position of Sailing Director to another team member had not been finally made when the matter first appeared in the press.

· In the interests of fairness, and being constrained by the legal process, this is all ETNZ Board and Management could say on the issue at that time. We waited until the formal process regarding Dean’s role in the team was completed before we could speak on the issue. It now has.

· Rumours then circulated and media reports laden with innuendo appeared in media reports implying that Grant Dalton was the source of the “leak”.

· The ETNZ Board has conducted an investigation into the cause or source of the “leak”. We are totally satisfied that Grant Dalton was not involved in anyway and he and his Management team have our full confidence and backing. No member of the Board or Management leaked any information.

· It is incorrect that Dean first heard of his possible change of role through social media and the final decision via press release. Following the last campaign, a review of all facets of the San Francisco campaign was concluded in May 2014.

· Dean participated in that review, and in the subsequent restructure process that began in November last year. He was aware from November that the role of Performance Manager was to be created and that he was being considered for this position.

· At all times the Board and Management were acutely conscious of following due process as any employer is expected to do.

“Employment issues are notoriously difficult to manage, especially when there is intense public interest. We unreservedly apologise for the impact that any failing on our part has had on Dean, his family, and on the team who are working night and day to bring home to New Zealand the America’s Cup” said Mr Turner.

Report from Emirates Team New Zealand media

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