LOS ANGELES - Leaders of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation announced
Wednesday that they would step down from their roles at the breast cancer
In a statement released by the organization, founder and Chief Executive Nancy
G. Brinker said that she would take on "a new management role focusing on
revenue creation" and President Elizabeth Thompson said she would leave the
foundation in September.
The changes came six months after a public uproar when Komen's decided to stop
funding breast health services operated by Planned Parenthood. Though Brinker
and others in the national leadership said that the decision to halt funding
had nothing to do with abortion politics, critics and some local Komen
affiliates cried foul, and the charity reversed its decision within days.
In the following months, Komen's fundraising _ long the envy of the nonprofit
world _ suffered as participation in its Race for the Cure events fell.
It is unclear whether a management shift at Komen will be enough to
resuscitate its reputation and the fundraising power of the pink ribbon, said
Daniel Borochoff, president of the Chicago-based watchdog group CharityWatch.
"Bringing in new people who weren't part of the bad decisions will help them
be more focused on their mission," he said. "But it does depend who they pick."
Just last week, the charity came under renewed fire from researchers at
Dartmouth College, who wrote in the British Medical Journal that Komen
overstated the benefits of mammograms in a recent awareness campaign.
In a statement, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood
Federation of America, praised Brinker's and Thompson's work for women's
"We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership," she said.
Lisa Wolter, executive director of Komen's Orange County, Calif., affiliate,
said she didn't know the reason for Thompson's departure but that the
pressures of the controversy may have been a factor.
"She may need to recharge her batteries," Wolter said.
Two members of the Komen board of directors also announced their resignations