Outgoing Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle faced “unwarranted criticism” and social media “bullying”, says chairman Paul McLean.
Castle resigned on Wednesday after the board lost confidence in her ability to take the game forward.
McLean said it was not a reaction to a letter sent by a group of ex-Wallaby captains, calling for new leadership.
He said a board decision “is not going to be a reaction to a small cohort”.
Castle endured a turbulent two and a half years in the role, with Australian rugby union struggling on and off the field.