Departing Nine boss Hugh Marks moving from his lavish $2,450-a-week townhouse rental in Sydney

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Nine boss Hugh Marks is moving out of his rented townhouse amid reports he’s considering having babies with his ex-employee girlfriend.

The powerful chief executive, 54, has lived in the $2450-a-week home in Balmoral Slopes – one of Sydney’s most prestigious suburbs – for the past year. 

He moved into the rental property after vacating his Californian bungalow in Artarmon, northern Sydney, when he split from his wife Gayle. 

Mr Marks in now on the move again, The Daily Telegraph reported. 

But it is not clear where he will relocate to, and already owns a $2 million 1970s Neutral Bay apartment.

His move comes after he sensationally resigned on Saturday hours after confessing he was in a relationship his recently-resigned colleague Alexi Baker, 38.

Nine CEO Hugh Marks (pictured) has announced his shock resignation in an email to staff on Saturday

The powerful chief executive, 54, has lived in the $2450-a-week home in Balmoral Slopes - one of Sydney's most prestigious suburbs - for the past year (pictured, the master bedroom)

The powerful chief executive, 54, has lived in the $2450-a-week home in Balmoral Slopes - one of Sydney's most prestigious suburbs - for the past year (pictured, the master bedroom)

The powerful chief executive, 54, has lived in the $2450-a-week home in Balmoral Slopes – one of Sydney’s most prestigious suburbs – for the past year (pictured, the master bedroom)

He moved into the rental property (pictured, the living room) after vacating his Californian bungalow in Artarmon, northern Sydney, when he split from his wife Gayle

He moved into the rental property (pictured, the living room) after vacating his Californian bungalow in Artarmon, northern Sydney, when he split from his wife Gayle

He moved into the rental property (pictured, the living room) after vacating his Californian bungalow in Artarmon, northern Sydney, when he split from his wife Gayle

Since then, numerous rumours have swirled about the nature of their relationship amid a reckoning over powerful men dating their employees.

But the successful rising star insists she is ‘not a victim’ and left Nine on her own terms because she wanted a new challenge – and for their romance to flourish.

Mr Marks confessed his relationship to Nine News-owned paper the Sydney Morning Herald to get ahead of a media storm from a column about his relationship coming out the following day.

The executive said he decided a year ago that he would leave Nine when he reached his five-year anniversary in the top job, but hadn’t decided exactly when.

‘When it became clear this relationship was going to become a subject of ridiculous gossip and so much pressure was going to come on the people in the business I just said to myself the right thing to do at this point is to take that pressure off the business and its people,’ he told the SMH on Sunday night. 

‘Was someone out to get me? I don’t know, I don’t really care. This [resignation] was a decision already in my head – not ideal that I had to pull it yesterday.’

The 38-year-old (pictured) said she was 'already looking around for the next challenge' at the time their romance was made public and she parted ways with the company

The 38-year-old (pictured) said she was 'already looking around for the next challenge' at the time their romance was made public and she parted ways with the company

The 38-year-old (pictured) said she was ‘already looking around for the next challenge’ at the time their romance was made public and she parted ways with the company

Mr Marks confessed his relationship to Nine News-owned paper the Sydney Morning Herald to get ahead of a media storm from a column about his relationship coming out the following day

Mr Marks confessed his relationship to Nine News-owned paper the Sydney Morning Herald to get ahead of a media storm from a column about his relationship coming out the following day

Mr Marks confessed his relationship to Nine News-owned paper the Sydney Morning Herald to get ahead of a media storm from a column about his relationship coming out the following day

Mr Marks said the pair’s relationship started recently as they worked closer together, and she resigned in late September so they could ‘progress’ as a couple. 

He insisted the romance was above board, despite Ms Baker reporting directly to him, and Nine confirmed it was notified and no governance rules were breached.

On Sunday, Nine sources claimed to The Daily Telegraph that the couple are ‘openly discussing baby plans’.

The column, which delved deep into the pair’s history at the media giant, is believed to be what prompted Mr Marks to confess his relationship to the SMH the day before. 

Mr Marks said he was bewildered why ‘anyone is actually interested in my personal life’, but that he was ‘getting into a good place personally’.

‘Everyone wants to be happy. People think you should be superhuman in these roles, but you are still just a person,’ he said.

Hugh Marks was snapped relaxing in a park with executive assistant Jane Routledge (pictured) in May 2020

Hugh Marks was snapped relaxing in a park with executive assistant Jane Routledge (pictured) in May 2020

Hugh Marks was snapped relaxing in a park with executive assistant Jane Routledge (pictured) in May 2020

Marks did not want to comment further on the story published in May. Pictured: Mr Marks and Jane Routledge in May 2020

Marks did not want to comment further on the story published in May. Pictured: Mr Marks and Jane Routledge in May 2020

Marks did not want to comment further on the story published in May. Pictured: Mr Marks and Jane Routledge in May 2020 

Mr Marks confirmed his split from his wife of two decades, and mother of his four children, Gayle Marks last November. 

‘This is a private family matter and a painful time for us all. Please respect our privacy and in particular that of our children,’ Mr Marks told News Corp at the time, buying him time to tell their children about the break up.   

Ms Baker is separated from her husband Andrew McLennan, a director of Goldman Sachs.

Mr Marks promoted her twice during her stint at Nine, from director of strategy and corporate development in 2016 and in February to managing director commercial. 

In 2016/17, Ms Baker and 15 other executives were nominated by Mr Marks for a $20,000 US ‘Stanford-style university’ management training program. 

Ms Baker rose through the ranks as number of other executives were forced out, including Paul Koppleman, former finance director Simon Kelly and chief digital officer Alex Parsons.

In a leaked internal memo, Mr Marks described her newest promotion as one where she would ‘work closely with me as we focus on setting new operating benchmarks’.

Ms Baker announced her departure on October 1.  

‘I just wanted to let you know that after much thought over the last while, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on from Nine,’ she said in an email to colleagues.

‘I have so enjoyed my time at Nine and don’t do it lightly. But with the big deals done and the business in such a great position, I think it’s time for me to explore what is next in my career.’

Mr Marks also shot down reports that he was in a relationship with his executive assistant, Jane Routledge, and it is not suggested otherwise.

‘There’s a lot of gossip and a lot of that gossip is out of control… and that sort of shocks me a bit that anyone is interested and that people can make s**t up,’ he told the SMH on Saturday.

He expanded on this denial on Sunday, saying the pair – who were pictured in May in a park together – were ‘just mates’ since they started at Nine 25 years ago. 

WHO IS ALEXI BAKER?

Alexi Baker studied a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Finance, between 2001 and 2005 at the University of NSW. 

Before joining Nine, Ms Baker had worked as an analyst at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse. 

She joined Nine in 2011 as a strategy manager.

In 2016, Ms Baker was appointed director of strategy and corporate development – a role she retained following the $4 billion merger of Fairfax and Nine.

She played important roles in the merger with Fairfax Media in July 2018, the broadcaster’s decision to switch from cricket to tennis rights in March the same year and the acquisition of the remaining stake in Macquarie Radio that Nine did not own.

Ms Baker also played a part in the growth of  subscription video on-demand service Stan. 

She then became commercial director in February this year.

She announced her resignation in October, stating she was looking to ‘take on a new challenge’. 

‘I just wanted to let you know that after much thought over the last while, I’ve decided it’s time for me to move on from Nine,’ she said in an email to her management colleagues.

‘I have so enjoyed my time at Nine and don’t do it lightly. But with the big deals done and the business in such a great position, I think it’s time for me to explore what is next in my career.’    

‘I have absolutely loved working with this group of people. And especially the opportunity to work beside such incredibly creative people making content.’

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