Mick McMahon, the recently appointed CEO of Australian aquaculture company Seafarms Group, is stepping down immediately after just eight months in charge.
Ian Trahar will replace him on the board as non-executive chairman, and an announcement regarding the new CEO will be made later.
Seafarms is the company behind Project Sea Dragon, a massive Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui)-backed shrimp farm planned for Australia's northern territory, which a review led by McMahon recently deemed "unviable."
Under new management, the company kicked off the review last November after an update on the project’s debt financing was found to be “not feasible” and the terms “not in shareholders interests."
McMahon and CFO Ian Brannon commissioned the review, and said that while the company remains “committed to delivering on the promise of Project Sea Dragon,” the review found that it “cannot proceed in its current form."
"It will not generate acceptable financial returns, the existing scope cannot be completed for targeted costs or achieve target completion dates, and the project currently involves unacceptable risk,” the review found.
Addressing shareholders about the review, McMahon said there was no funding to proceed with Project Sea Dragon "even if we thought [it was viable]," ABC News reported.
"It's fair to say we were shocked at what we found when we came into the business," said McMahon.
"I feel significant responsibility to shareholders who have invested their money into this company and especially those who have done so since I came into the business. To them I apologize for what we've had to present today," he said at the time the review was presented.
Japan's Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui) is a 15 percent shareholder in the project, investing AUD25 million ($16.8 million/€15.3 million) in parent Seafarms in 2018 and a further AUD 3 million (€1.8 million/$2 million) in 2019.