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DJ's chairman steps down

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David Jones chairman Peter Mason will leave the department store business in the wake of investor anger at controversial share trading by two of the company’s directors.

Mason has announced he and director Leigh Clapham will step down within three months, while fellow board member Steve Vamos has decided to leave the company immediately.

The resignations follow investor anger at the purchase of more than 32,000 David Jones shares by Vamos and Clapham in October last year.

The purchase, which was approved by Mr Mason, was made the day the company received a merger proposal from Myer and days before a better-than-expected sales report prompted a spike in the company’s share price.

David Jones later rejected the Myer proposal, saying it did not represent fair value to shareholders.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission investigated the purchase but decided not to take any action.

Jane Harvey, another member of the company’s board of directors, has been promoted to deputy chairwoman and will lead the search for three new non-executive directors.

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