Ben Roberts-Smith Resigns From Seven Network

Ben Roberts-Smith
Image: Seven Network

Ben Roberts-Smith is no longer the general manager of Seven Queensland.

Over the past 24 hours, questions have been raised about how, if at all, the former SAS soldier could remain in his position, given yesterday’s historic court ruling, which found it was substantially true to say he had committed murders in Afghanistan while serving, broke the moral and legal rules of military engagement and is therefore a criminal, and disgraced his country, among other things.

Only this afternoon, the Seven Network implied to Variety Australia that a decision about his future with the television network had not yet been made, with a spokesperson saying: “Ben is on leave. In light of yesterday’s judgement, we will discuss his future with the company.”

Only moments later, however, it emerged he had tendered his resignation, which had been accepted.

A Seven Network spokesperson confirmed the news to Variety Australia. 

The Guardian Australia cited the email from Seven West Media’s managing director and CEO, James Warburton, who said:

“As you’re all aware, the judgement in the defamation case was handed down yesterday. Ben has been on leave whilst the case was running, and today has offered his resignation, which we have accepted. We thank Ben for his commitment to Seven and wish him all the best.”

What Was Ben Roberts-Smith Doing at Seven Queensland?

Roberts-Smith joined the television network and media company in 2012 and was involved in numerous news and public affairs production projects.

He then took on a full-time corporate role and was deputy general manager until the retirement of Neil Mooney, at which time he was promoted to general manager.

At the time of Roberts-Smith’s promotion, then CEO of Seven West Media, Tim Worner, said: “We are delighted to announce this appointment. Ben has been a part of the Seven Network for a number of years and has impressed us greatly with his management and leadership skills.”

The retiring Mooney said: “Ben will be an excellent leader. He is an outstanding person. When it comes to leadership, he ticks all the right boxes.”

In 2021, Roberts-Smith stepped down from his management role at Seven Queensland to focus on the looming legal battle.

At the time, Warburton said in an email to staff that both parties believed it was the best course of action.

“Ben and I believe this mutual decision is best for both him and our company. We expect Ben to return to his role upon the completion of his defamation proceedings. As the trial is currently set down for eight weeks, it’s likely this won’t be until after August,” Warburton wrote.