Kris Hallenga to step down from chief's role at Coppafeel!

The woman who set up the breast cancer charity says she wants to avoid the possibility of founder's syndrome; Natalie Kelly will take over as chief executive

Kris Hallenga
Kris Hallenga

Kris Hallenga, founder and chief executive of the breast cancer charity Coppafeel!, has announced that she will step down at the end of the year.

In a statement on the charity’s website, Hallenga said she would become an ambassador for the charity on a part-time basis.

Natalie Kelly, director of marketing, communications and brand at Coppafeel!, will take over as chief executive.

Hallenga, who was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer in 2009, said her health was not the reason for her decision and avoiding "founder’s syndrome" was the main factor behind the move.

"I know what you are thinking – that my health is getting worse and that’s why I have decided to step down," she said." But I am happy to say that is not actually the case.

"Of course, my health plays a role in this decision, but right now I am feeling better than ever. Let’s be honest, I have been pretty ‘unwell’ for almost eight years but that hardly stopped me."

She said founder’s syndrome was real and she could see how a founder could prevent a charity from growing.

"I would like to think I have not ever hindered its growth and progress thus far, but I also want to ensure I never will," she said.

"I want what’s best for this charity, and that is no longer me leading it. Founders need to be aware of their strengths, and although I think I have worked hard to be the credible chief executive I am today, it’s not what the charity needs now.

"I knew I would give this charity all I had until the end of my days, and I still am, just not in a leadership capacity.

"Being the proactive person that I am, I have always wanted some kind of succession plan before I got too poorly. It’s so much nicer and easier making hard decisions when you are well. I’d hate to be writing this if I wasn’t."

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