Leadership update from SVCF Board of Directors

The SVCF Board issued an important update to our staff earlier today, and we wanted to ensure that our entire community also received this critical information.

The Board of Directors voted to place Emmett D. Carson on paid administrative leave from his role as CEO, President and Board member until further notice while the investigation being led by independent counsel continues. That investigation will be thorough, and the Board remains committed to taking all necessary actions once it has concluded to ensure that the Silicon Valley Community Foundation thrives today and for many years into the future.

As a result of this action, the SVCF Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Avis to the position of Interim CEO of SVCF. A Founding Board member and prior Chair of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Greg is managing partner of Bangtail Partners, a private investment firm, and a cofounder and former managing director of Summit Partners, a private equity and venture capital firm. Greg has also served on the boards of more than 40 public and private companies, and non-profit boards including nonprofits Williams College (chair), Cleveland Clinic, ITHAKA, the James Irvine Foundation (chair), MASS MoCA, the National Outdoor Leadership School, New Profit, Opportunity Fund (chair), the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Schwab Charitable Foundation. The board is confident in his ability to steward SVCF through this challenging time and to help keep a keen eye on our forward progression and mission to serve our donors and community.

Additionally, SVCF Board members, Wade W. Loo, David P. Lopez, and Rebecca Guerra, will serve as Special Advisors to Mr. Avis during his interim leadership, providing day-to-day leadership support and counsel. Mr. Loo will focus his work and advice to the Interim CEO on the day-to-day management of the ongoing investigation, and he will oversee communications to address concerns and input from our key stakeholders and from the community at large. Mr. Lopez will focus his work and advice to the Interim CEO on the continued work of the many philanthropic investments and community impact projects to which SVCF’s donors have committed. Ms. Guerra will bring her HR expertise to the organization. The Special Committee of the Board will also work closely with Mr. Avis during this time, along with support from the Chair of our Board, Sam Johnson, and our incoming Chair Dan’l Lewin.

Mr. Avis will be joining the SVCF team on Monday and will host an in-person town hall for all employees that afternoon, along with Mr. Loo, Mr. Lopez, and representatives from the investigation team to share the latest information the status of the investigation.

For individuals who wish to participate in the ongoing investigation, the Boies Schiller Flexner attorneys will set up protocols to share with you on Monday. Individuals not currently associated with SVCF will also have access to our internal anonymous reporting tool, Lighthouse, shortly. We will share an update once that system is live.