Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder Nancy Brinker is leaving the CEO post amidst a management shakeup that includes the resignations of the organization's president and two board members.
The president of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is resigning, and founder Nancy Brinker is moving away from its day-to-day management, the nation's largest breast cancer foundation said Wednesday as fallout from its brief decision to end funding for Planned Parenthood reaches the organization's highest ranks.
President Liz Thompson and two board members announced plans Wednesday to step down from their roles in the organization, while Brinker will move from CEO to a new role as chair of the Komen Board Executive Committee.
Two other board members, Brenda Lauderback and Linda Law, also announced their resignations.
At least five other high-ranking executives resigned earlier this year.
Komen's senior leaders faced enormous opposition earlier this year after it decided to cut off funding for breast-cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood. Komen later reversed the decision, and Karen Handel resigned from her position as vice president for public policy.
Thompson will leave in September after four years with the organization. She assumed the role of president in 2010 after joining Komen in 2008 to lead their science and research programs.
According to the statement, which makes no reference to the Planned Parenthood decision or fallout, Thompson said the time was right for her to pursue other opportunities. She hailed the organization's leadership in pursuing a cure for breast cancer and for helping women and men with cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment.
“That legacy will continue," she said. "It has been a privilege and an honor to serve in this role."
Brinker praised Thompson's work in expanding Komen's influence in scientific, community health, advocacy and global programs.
"Liz's expertise and steady hand have helped us build on already outstanding programs, and we wish her well in her future endeavors," Brinker said.
Komen said in its statement that Brinker's new management role would focus on "revenue creation, strategy and global growth" once a new CEO has been found.
“I was asked by the board in 2009 to assume the CEO role," Brinker said in the statement. "Three years into that role, and 32 years after my promise to my sister to end breast cancer, I want now to focus on Susan G. Komen’s global mission and raising resources to bring our promise to women all around the world.”
Brinker said the organization's mission is clear and would not change, "regardless of the controversy earlier this year."
"We are doing everything in our power to ensure that women have access to quality cancer care and the support that they need as we seek answers through cutting-edge research," she said.
Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure in 1982, two years after her sister, the organization's namesake, died of breast cancer. The organization was formed and is currently headquartered in Dallas.
Komen's website says the organization has raised $2 billion for breast-cancer research.