UNILAD CEO steps down amidst 'historic misconduct' investigation

Simon Austin's picture
Sam Bentley

UNILAD co-founder Sam Bentley has resigned from the board and stepped down as joint CEO amidst an investigation into “allegations of historic misconduct” at the Manchester-based company.

A “small number of staff” at the media firm - which has 38.8 million followers on Facebook - also face disciplinary action.

David Sefton, Managing Partner of Linton Capital LLP, has been made Interim Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new board.

A spokesperson for UNILAD told Prolific North that the company had “recently appointed independent counsel to conduct an investigation in response to allegations of historic misconduct made against the company”.

“UNILAD has subsequently taken decisive and firm action,” she added. “Sam Bentley has resigned from the board and stepped down as joint CEO of UNILAD.

“A small number of staff members face disciplinary action. David Sefton, Managing Partner of Linton Capital LLP, an experienced director of private and public companies and former barrister, has been made Interim Executive Chairman until the appointment of a new board.

“UNILAD is committed to the continued growth of its unique business brand while at the same time in all respects upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct. The company will not tolerate any breach of this policy, as these actions clearly demonstrate.

“UNILAD’s ongoing commitment to its staff, clients and many stakeholders remains absolute. Claims made against the company include many false allegations and substantial inaccuracies.

“Where the company has found particular claims to be substantiated, it has acted. Going forward the company will vigorously defend its reputation against untrue allegations.”

A website called ‘Unilad Exposed’ was recently launched by a former, unnamed employee, who also said they would be launching a book by the same title this week.

Meanwhile, Alex Partridge won a 33% stake in the company following a long-winded legal battle against fellow co-founders Bentley and Liam Harrington last month.