Kids Company appoints 'restructuring specialist' and intends to appoint new chief executive by 31 October

Amid controversy, the charity has already announced that Camila Batmanghelidjh will stand down, and has now appointed restructure specialist Colin Whipp to the new role of chief operating officer

Kids Company: restructure in the offing
Kids Company: restructure in the offing

Kids Company has appointed a "restructuring specialist", added four people to its trustee board and said that it intends to have a new chief executive in place by the end of October.

Earlier this month the charity said that Camila Batmanghelidjh, its founder, would step down as chief executive amid claims that the government would give further funding to the charity only if she was replaced.

Batmanghelidjh has led the charity, which provides support to vulnerable children, young people and families in Bristol, Liverpool and London, since setting it up in 1996.

The charity issued a statement today after correspondence published by the Cabinet Office yesterday showed that ministers decided to award a £3m grant to Kids Company despite warnings from the most senior civil servant in the Cabinet Office that the charity was unlikely to meet the government’s conditions for the funding.

The statement from Alan Yentob, chair of Kids Company, said the charity would need to restructure and had appointed Colin Whipp, a restructuring specialist, to the new role of chief operating officer and the vacant position of interim finance director.

"Colin will be working with the senior management team to help build upon Camila’s vision as the charity enters a new phase," said Yentob.

Asked if the restructure had or would result in any redundancies or job losses, a spokeswoman for the charity, which employs 580 staff, said this was "to be determined with the board and staff at Kids Company".

Yentob said the charity had appointed four additional trustees to its board, taking the total number to 11.

"We are delighted to announce that Stuart Roden, John Frieda, William de Winton and Nick Lawson will be joining the board of trustees of Kids Company," he said. "Over the years these philanthropists have made a considerable financial and practical contribution to the organisation.

"Alongside the current trustees, they bring extensive business experience to the board as well as new opportunities for fundraising.

Yentob said Batmanghelidjh would take up the new role of president of Kids Company and the charity hoped to have a new chief executive in post by 31 October.

"Over the past 19 years Kids Company has developed a highly effective model for the delivery of practical and emotional support for vulnerable children and young people," he said. "In the charity’s 20th year the trustees have today announced that Camila Batmanghelidjh, the founder and inspiration behind the vision and growth of Kids Company, will be redefining her role within the organisation."

Yentob said Batmanghelidjh would focus on clinical innovation and "continue to play a central role in the future development of Kids Company while maintaining her clinical work, advocacy and fundraising".  

The spokeswoman said Batmanghelidjh would remain a paid employee and her salary would be a matter for the trustees.

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