ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has been sacked by the board after just two years and four months in the job.

ABC staff were informed by email on Monday morning and the ABC issued a statement that Ms Guthrie had departed.

“The decision follows discussions over several months that concluded when directors resolved that it was not in the best interests of the ABC for Ms Guthrie to continue to lead the organisation,” the statement said.

“Chairman Justin Milne said the Board believed that new leadership would benefit the organisation, its dedicated employees and the ABC’s audiences.”

Current director David Anderson will serve as acting managing director until a replacement is found.

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The email to staff said the board has already commenced a “formal search process that will involve internal and external candidates”.

“The Board has given long and detailed consideration to this serious matter,” it says.

“We appreciate that a change in leadership creates uncertainty, however, we are firmly of the view that this decision is in the best interests of the organsiation.”

Ms Guthrie replaced Mark Scott in May, 2016. She has clashed with Mr Milne over the future direction of the public broadcaster.

She had been criticised for not being proactive enough to defend the organisation as it came under unprecedented attack from the federal government and its media allies.

In a short statement, federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said it was up to the board to replace Ms Guthrie.

“ABC Managing Directors are appointed by the Board. The ABC Board has legislated independence in relation to management appointments and the Government respects the duty and role of the Board in these matters,” he said.

In a short statement, federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said it was up to the board to replace Ms Guthrie.

“ABC Managing Directors are appointed by the Board. The ABC Board has legislated independence in relation to management appointments and the Government respects the duty and role of the Board in these matters,” he said.

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