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Red Cross boots president for inappropriate relationship with employee

The Red Cross didn’t bother with a cover story for its beleaguered president, Mark Everson.  The very married head of the organization got the very public boot for carrying on with a subordinate. (NYT):

Suzy C. DeFrancis, chief public affairs officer for the Red Cross, said information about the relationship between Mr. Everson and an employee was brought to the board’s attention about 10 days ago by a senior executive. The board confronted him with that information, and he acknowledged the relationship, Ms. DeFrancis said.

The board “concluded that the situation reflected poor judgment on Mr. Everson’s part and diminished his ability to lead the organization in the future,” the Red Cross statement said.

…Trent Stamp, president of Charity Navigator, a Web site that rates the efficiency of charities based on financial statements filed with the government, said the firing was a major setback for the Red Cross. “This will affect fund-raising, organizational morale and public trust in this organization, which is already dangerously low,” he said.

…Organizations, whether for-profit or not, rarely describe their reasons for firing an executive as bluntly as the Red Cross did. The most similar comparison is the Boeing Corporation, which forced the resignation of two chief executives because of ethical lapses, including affairs with employees.

Mr. Everson, who is 53, did not respond to a message left on his cellphone. In a statement released by the Red Cross, he said: “I am resigning my position for personal and family reasons, and deeply regret it is impossible for me to continue in a job so recently undertaken.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding