Citing a growing strain with board members, Bruce S. Gordon has decided to resign the presidency of the NAACP after only 19 months in the position. Gordon spent 35 years at Verizon Corp, rising to president of its Retail Markets Group before retiring in 2003. He took over the post at the NAACP in August 2005. A Washington Times report wasn't specific about Gordon's complaint, but the board's was made clear.
Rupert Richardson, a board member from Louisiana, said it was clear Mr. Gordon wanted the NAACP to do more social service work, but that was not the decades-old mission of the group.
"I think he saw his job as remaking us to make us more effective, but his job was to do what the board and management wanted," she said. "He was not a good fit for us."
A Washington Post report provided much the same explanation, but also did not indicate any particular issues of disagreement.
Gordon's confirmation yesterday in Los Angeles that he quit the NAACP's leadership caught numerous members by surprise, including Lorraine Miller, president of the District's chapter, and the Rev. Morris L. Shearin, the chapter's vice president, who also is a member of the national board of directors.
Friction between the president and a micromanaging board is a fact of life at the NAACP, members said, but Shearin said "I never knew" things were this bad.
Interesting that Ms. Richardson seemed to object to Gordon's effort to "make us more effective," to use her words.