Rosemary Gillespie, the ousted chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, has said she has been poorly treated and the charity’s board "does not have the stomach for the programme of change I was brought in to deliver".
Gillespie, who was asked to step down with immediate effect last week after 15 months as chief executive, told Third Sector she "had been treated shabbily and the board should take a long, hard look at itself".
THT issued a statement last Friday to explain that the board of trustees had decided "a change of leadership is needed for the next stage of the organisation’s development". It did not include a quote from Gillespie.
Gillespie, who had been asked to produce a new strategic plan for 2016 to 2020, said her removal came "out of the blue" and contrasted with what she said was a supportive email in April from Robert Glick, the charity’s chair.
According to Gillespie, the email read: "I think you and I are on our way to developing an outstanding partnership, and I couldn’t be more excited about working with you at the helm as we take the leap into the next stage of this great charity’s work."
Glick was also positive about Gillespie’s contribution in THT’s statement, which quoted him as saying: "On behalf of the entire board, it has been a privilege to work with Rosemary as she has led this remarkable charity over the last 15 months, during a period marked by considerable change. She has been the driving force in developing a new strategy for THT, in making certain we have a solid organisational and financial footing for a more sustainable future, and in helping to guide the vital work we do each and every day.
THT declined to comment on Gillespie’s claims.