Halo Trust chief executive Guy Willoughby quits

Willoughby, who founded the landmine clearance charity in 1988, was suspended by trustees in July after 'a serious breakdown in relations'

Guy Willoughby
Guy Willoughby

Guy Willoughby has resigned as chief executive of the landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust, which he co-founded 26 years ago.

Trustees voted unanimously to suspend Willoughby in July citing at the time a "serious deterioration in relations" between him and the board, and it has now come to light that he resigned the following month.

A spokesman for the Halo Trust refused to discuss the details of Willoughby’s resignation and settlement deal, but The Daily Telegraph reports it to be "a figure in excess of £100,000".

The spokesman said: "The terms of Willoughby's departure are not being disclosed, but he is to receive a sensible package that is commensurate with the departure of a chief executive of long-standing and is in line with good practice."

Willoughby was suspended several months after it emerged that he was receiving school fees for three of his children as part of his remuneration. He received a salary package of between £210,000 and £220,000 in the year to March 2013, according to the charity’s accounts.

The charity said at the time that payment of schools fees led trustees to look at the governance of the charity. There was no suggestion of any financial wrongdoing, it said.

A statement on the charity’s website announcing Willoughby’s resignation does not refer to the breakdown in relationships between the former chief executive and the board. It focuses on Willoughby’s "extraordinary vision" in co-founding the charity in 1988.

The statement says: "Guy has been instrumental in developing Halo from a tiny charity into the extraordinarily powerful force for good it is today, with more than 7,000 Halo staff now working in 17 countries and territories. He has helped to make mine clearance an issue that is now taken seriously throughout the world."

The Halo Trust’s latest accounts for the financial year 2013/14 show a deficit of £1.37m. Prince Harry was a patron of the charity until March and the actress Angelina Jolie was a trustee until May, when she left because of other commitments.

Current board members include Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, who was principal private secretary to both the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to Prince Harry, and Tom Bradby, ITV news political editor and a friend to both the princes.    

The charity is now searching for a new chief executive.

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