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Respiri (ASX:RSH) - former CEO, Mario Gattino
former CEO, Mario Gattino
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  • Respiri (RSH) has finalised the legal settlement with former CEO Mario Gattino
  • Mario took the company to court for unlawful dismissal and sued the company for $2.8 million worth of options and a $225,000 unpaid bonus, as well as damages and penalties
  • The terms of the settlement remain confidential, however, Respiri did confirm the end result included an “immaterial cash payment”
  • Mario has agreed to pay for the pre-approved 1.125 million Respiri shares for $0.08 and $0.10 each
  • Executive Chairman Nicholas Smedley said the settlement shows that Mario has confidence in the company long term as he was happy with a share settlement, rather than cash
  • On market close, Respiri is down 4.76 per cent and is selling shares for 8 cents each

Respiri (RSH) has finalised the legal settlement with former CEO Mario Gattino.

The claim

Mario took the company to court for unlawful dismissal and accused former board directors of firing him because he opposed the board’s wishes in delaying asthma- detecting product, Wheezo, into India this year.

The former CEO has sued the company for $2.8 million worth of options and $225,000 of unpaid bonus, as well as damages and penalties.

The dismissal happened one day after Mario sent out an ASX announcement that the Wheezo devices were being shipped to New Delhi that same week.

Mario believes the India market was the only opportunity for Respiri to receive a significant revenue in 2020.

Mario claims that Respiri informed the market about his departure a week before he received his notice of termination.

He claimed the previous board Chair Ross Blair-Holt and previous director, Bruce Thompson, would defy Respiri’s joint venture with an Indian co-venturer. Mario accused Ross and Bruce of saying one thing to shareholders and saying the opposite to the members of the board.

In a September meeting held last year, the India co-venturer was unhappy that Respiri hadn’t yet held up its end of the deal.

However the day after that meeting, Ross signed a director’s report that the company is expecting its first global sales from India that year.

The two directors were removed from the company in November.

The outcome

The legal proceedings commenced in February this year at the Federal Court of Australia, against Respiri and two former Directors of Respiri.

The terms of the settlement remain confidential. However, Respiri did confirm that the end result included an “immaterial cash payment”.

Mario has agreed to forfeit his entitlement “to potential short term incentive payments” and providing the company and its current and former officers, directors, employees and agents with full releases in relation to the claims that were the subject of the current legal proceeding and all potential future claims.

Additionally, Mario will also finalise and pay for the previously shareholder approved 1.125 million Respiri shares for $0.08 and $0.10 each.

The current board of Directors were not part of the legal action.

Executive Chairman Nicholas Smedley said the settlement shows that Mario has confidence in the company long term as he was happy with a share settlement, rather than cash.

“This is acceptable to all parties and now allows them to move forward without the distraction that a legal dispute represents,” he said.

“The current Respiri Board, comprising myself and my two fellow Directors, are focused on executing our group corporate strategy with senior management, as we continue to progress corporate partnerships and the necessary steps for our full commercial launch in late 2020,” he added.

Mario says he fully supports the company’s strategy and the direction the new board of directors is heading in.

“As a shareholder of the company, our interests in building shareholder value are aligned and I wish the Board and the company all the best as they prepare for the launch of the innovative wheezo platform, which has the potential to benefit a large number of asthma sufferers throughout the world in managing their disease more effectively,” he added.

On market close, Respiri is down 4.76 per cent and is selling shares for 8 cents each.

RSH by the numbers
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