Time’s Up CEO Tina Tchen Resigns; “I Am Not The Leader” For Now, Interim CEO Appointed

Just days after making it through a duo of pivotal stakeholders meeting that put her besieged  leadership under a spotlight, Tina Tchen has quit as the head of Time’s Up

“Now is the time for Time’s Up to evolve and move forward as there is so much more work to do for women,” said the former chief of staff to Michelle Obama in a statement on social media today. “It is clear that I am not the leader who can accomplish that in this moment,” Tchem added, ending her nearly two years overseeing the Hollywood heavy organization.

Read the full tweet below

On August 22, Deadline reported that a number of members of leadership of the Hollywood heavy Time’s Up believed Tchen needed to exit or at least step back during an independent probe after the gender equity group was hit by a series of blunders. The next day, following virtual meetings with Time’s Up global leadership and founding signatories, Tchen told Deadline “it’s not my intention to resign as President and CEO of Time’s Up.”

That was Monday.

Later that the same day Andrew Cuomo stepped down as Governor of New York due to a sexual harassment scandal that former Time’s Up board chair Roberta Kaplan and Tchen had become embroiled in. A tainted Kaplan left Time’s Up on August 9.

Cuomo announced on August 10 that he would leave office in two weeks.

As a New York Times piece detailed late last week, attorney Kaplan was much more involved than previously known with the efforts of Cuomo’s team to fight back against the allegations of as laid out in a scathing report from the Empire State’s Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month.

In the intervening days after the August 24 Time’s Up meetings, more and more voices that stayed silent during the high level calls started speaking out. As Deadline had exclusively reported on the weekend, those individuals and others reiterating that Tchen’s lack of transparency and the group’s “mission creep” was “untenable.”

Now it is Thursday and Time’s Up COO Monifa Bandele has been appointed interim CEO.

Lead by interim chair and Tinseltown super lawyer Nina Shaw, the Time’s Up board on Thursday praised Tchen on her way out and Bandele on her way in:

Tina Tchen has dedicated her life to making workplaces fair and equitable for workers and safer for women. That is why we asked her to lead Time’s up in the first place and she has accomplished enormous changes in the two years she has been our President. From ensuring the Silence Breakers and Harvey Weinstein survivors felt supported, to developing a program to center voices of women of color survivors, to calling out sexism in politics, to ensuring large corporations had guidance to do the right thing and were held accountable when their workplaces were not safe and equitable, to forcing the Golden Globes to address their toxic effect on the workplace in entertainment, Tina has made a difference in the lives of so many. Accepting her resignation today is the right thing to do to move the organization forward and we are grateful for her hard work and impact and this demonstration of accountability.

Monifa Bandele has been appointed interim CEO and we are confident that her experience and commitment will lead TU through the process we have already committed to in order to further our mission, rebuild the organization and honor and respect the experiences of survivors and the broader community of women at work whom we serve. Monifa’s history of leading operations, culture change, and policy campaigns is exactly the strategic experience TU needs now. Her perspective and integrity as TU has confronted the issues before us has been invaluable. She has the full support of the Board and staff and we are grateful to her for stepping into this new role.

As the Board has shared, we are commissioning an independent investigation into how we work and we can best accomplish our mission. That work is already underway. We remain committed to the work Time’s Up was founded to pursue: safe, equitable and dignified work for all women

Time’s Up was founded in late 2017 out of the accusations leveled at now convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein and the rise of the #MeToo movement. Tchen became Time’s Up CEO and President  in October 2019 after the resignation of Lisa Borders. The short lived Borders reign lasted  just four months after sexual assault allegations were made against her son.

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