The board of directors of Ebony Magazine announced the removal of Willard Jackson Jr. as CEO amid an ongoing investigation relating to his transactions.
The board of directors will appoint an interim CEO and operating committee, according to a statement by the magazine. The board is investigating transactions made by Jackson that did not have approval from the board, per company protocol.
"The lack of transparency led to us wanting to drill down on, not only the transactions, but on a bunch of other things," Jacob Walthour Jr., newly-elected chairman of Ebony's board of directors told USA TODAY. "As we did that, we became increasingly uncomfortable and we decided as a board that it was time for Mr. Jackson to be removed as the CEO."
The fashion and lifestyle publication, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, said in a statement it would prioritize the payment of delinquent compensation to employees and expects to make an announcement soon.
“Founder John H. Johnson conducted himself and Ebony business with a level of class, integrity and honor that has come to define Black professionalism in America," said Walthour in a press release. "While the board expects that Ebony will always need to adapt its business model to stay relevant, it must never compromise the core values of Mr. Johnson.”
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The news comes days after Essence magazine named new temporary leadership after someone claiming to be an employee posted anonymous allegations of mistreatment and abuse within the company.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Ebony Magazine removes CEO amid investigation on his transactions