Susan G. Komen President Liz Thompson will leave the charitable foundation next month, along with Komen founder Nancy Brinker, who will relinquish her chief executive's role for a position focused on fundraising and strategic planning, the foundation announced in a statement.
Both departures come off the heels of Komen's decision to briefly end funding for Planned Parenthood earlier this year, the Associated Press reported. In February, Karen Handel, Komen’s vice president for public policy, resigned from her post following the controversy. According to the Washington Post, several former Komen employees have said that Handel was the force behind the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Thompson said she is leaving her position, which she started in 2010, with a "heavy heart."
But Brinkertold seemed less apathetic regarding her departure, telling 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.
Andrea Rader, a spokesperson for Komen, told the Washington Post that Thompson “had been considering leaving for several months. She had accomplished what she wanted to do and it was time to move on.”
Beyond Thompson and Brinker, the Washington Post reported that two Komen board members, Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, announced they would leave the organization as well.
In a statement, Thompson added that Komen was “on an excellent path to recovery." She added that, "no other breast cancer organization does as much to help women and men through this disease.”