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Big Management Shakeup At Komen Foundation

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - There's news of a major management shakeup at Susan G. Komen For the Cure. A late Wednesday afternoon press release detailed changes involving not only founder Nancy G. Brinker, but the organization's president and several board members as well.

Brinker, who founded the Dallas-based Susan G. Komen For the Cure in 1982, is moving to what the company calls a "new management role." The former CEO will first serve as chair on the committee to find a new senior executive, then move to a position that focuses on "revenue creation, strategy and global growth."

In a note sent to Komen partners, Brinker said, "I was asked to become CEO three years ago and it has been a terrific experience. However, I am ready at this point in my life to focus on the strategic vision of our global mission along with fundraising."

As Brinker leaves the CEO position, Komen president Liz Thompson announced that she would be leaving the organization next month. Thompson was named president in 2010 and has been with the organization since 2008. The statement said she leaves to "pursue other opportunities."

Other top-level management changes include the resignations of two Komen board members. Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law stepped down from their positions as of August 6. Organization leaders said that the process to replace those board members has already begun.

Earlier this year, Susan G. Komen For the Cure came under fire for cutting its grants to Planned Parenthood. In 2011, the foundation had given nearly $700,000 to Planned Parenthood.

The announcement by the nation's leading breast cancer charity led to bitter abortion debate protests. Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading sexual and reproductive health care provider. Online petitions had called for Brinker and the entire Komen board of directors to step down.

Komen officials said that they made the move as part of the charity's newly adopted criteria barring grants to organizations that are under investigation by local, state or federal authorities.

Less than a week after the announcement Komen did an abrupt about-face and said it would continue to fund Planned Parenthood. After reversing course, Komen released a statement that said, in part, "We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not."

The final line of the Komen statement began with Brinker stating, "Our mission is clear and consistent, and will never change, regardless of the controversy earlier this year."

As of March 22, at least five other high-ranking executives with Susan G. Komen For the Cure had already resigned.

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