Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, is resigning from his post following calls for him to step down amid allegations of sexual harassment.
“I am resigning, effective immediately, to allow that process to move forward expeditiously and to put aside any distractions, in the best interests of all parties,” Pacelle told the New York Times in an email.
The announcement comes after a majority of the organization’s board of directors voted to conclude an investigation looking into the allegations. In response, seven board members stepped down.
Multiple women accused Pacelle of sexual harassment, including one woman who asserts he told her to watch him masturbate.
Senior women at the Humane Society warned Pacelle, who has led the organization since 2004, about how his actions toward subordinates, donors, and volunteers could undermine the group’s work, the Washington Post reported earlier this week.
Pacelle has denied the allegations of sexual harassment and claims he never received any warnings about his conduct.