America

Susan G. Komen's President To Leave Organization

The breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen for the Cure announced Wednesday a shakeup of its top ranks in the wake of criticism over its decision to halt partnerships with affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

In a statement, Komen said its president, Liz Thompson, would leave the organization in September.

Thompson joined Komen in 2008 and became president in 2010. She said the "time is right for her to pursue other opportunities," according to the statement.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Thompson's departure was effective Sept. 7. She hasn't taken another job, the newspaper said. In an interview with the newspaper, she said she was leaving Komen with a "heavy heart."

Here's more from the Journal:

"Searches were under way to find a president, chief executive and chief operating officer, a post that has been vacant since late 2009, said Nancy G. Brinker, who is the founder and current CEO of the nation's largest breast-cancer charity. She said she would assume a new role after top leadership positions were filled."

In the statement, Komen also said that board members Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law were leaving the organization's board of directors.

Johnson's departure is the most recent of a series of high-profile exits from the breast cancer charity following the controversy with Planned Parenthood. As the Two-Way reported at the time:

"The controversy was sparked earlier this year when Komen announced it was ending its partnership with Planned Parenthood affiliates. The affiliates received $680,000 last year for breast cancer screening and other breast health services."

Planned Parenthood and its allies said Komen was caving to the demands of anti-abortion-rights groups. The firestorm led to the resignation of Karen Handel, the group's senior vice president for policy, and affected fundraising at some Komen affiliates.

Brinker, the group's CEO, told the Journal that Wednesday's changes had nothing to do with the controversy.

"I apologized to everyone. I think we all made mistakes and we addressed them and we're through that and we're moving on," she said.

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