Dede Wilsey, the San Francisco socialite who took over the de Young museum after it was damaged in the SF earthquake of 1989, has resigned her post as CEO to resolve a nagging whistle-blower scandal involving the museum’s CFO. The CFO will received $2m to avoid a wrongful termination suit.
The San Francisco Chronicle says the museum will now have to scramble for cash to resolve a multi-million dollar deficit and rebuild its board:
Wilsey has served as board president for nearly two decades and took over as CEO in 2012 after the death of museums Director John Buchanan. She is credited with almost single-handedly raising $190 million to rebuild the earthquake-damaged de Young in Golden Gate Park. […] The turning point came in October when former museum finance chief Gutierrez dropped a bombshell whistle-blower complaint — both at San Francisco City Hall and with state Attorney General Kamala Harris — about the money that she said Wilsey had ordered paid to ailing ex-staffer Bill Huggins. […] In a worst-case scenario, the attention could have jeopardized the nonprofit status of the board, which relies on a mix of private and city money to run the de Young and Legion of Honor. […] [A] Fine Arts Museums insider says the board and executive staff are covered by an insurance policy that indemnifies them for at least some of the settlement.
Dede Wilsey leaving top museums job amid strife over payout (San Francisco Chronicle)