But Guthrie appeared flat-footed on Monday, saying: "While my contract permits the board to terminate my appointment without cause and with immediate effect, I believe there is no justification for the board to trigger that termination clause".
"It was their decision and their deliberations, I'm not privy to the deliberations".
ABC chairman Justin Milne informed staff of Ms Guthrie's sudden exit in a message to staff this morning. In the first two years of my five-year term, I have invested more in investigative journalism; more in regional journalism; more in innovative content; and increased the efficiency and effectiveness of work across the ABC. "That said, I think Michelle tried hard and was involved with government", he said.
David Anderson, now director, entertainment and specialist, will serve as acting MD until a new appointment is made in the coming months.
She was given the benefit of the doubt, Faine said, and "most of us were excited ... that a woman clearly on top of new media" was taking the helm.
He said Ms Guthrie had "been all but invisible" and when she was approached, all she would respond with "was all jargon".
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Sally Neighbour, executive producer of 4 Corners, tweeted: "excellent decision".
Ms Guthrie was announced as the new managing director in December 2015, and she began in the role in May 2016.
The last time the ABC board got rid of its boss was in 2001 when Jonathan Shier was quietly shown the door and handed $1 million to go through it. He added the directors felt the ABC "would do better under different leadership" but that she had "done a good job".
"I want you to know that I am passionate about the ABC's objective, public broadcasting and providing valuable services to Australians every day", he wrote.
"We appreciate that a change in leadership creates uncertainty, however, we are firmly of the view that this decisions is in the best interest of the organisation", he said.
Milne conceded Guthrie had done a "pretty good" job turning the ABC towards its digital future.
He said it was an honour to lead the corporation.