publication date: Dec. 19, 2014

ACS President & COO Resigns Unexpectedly; Was Seen as Contender for CEO Position


Gregory Bontrager resigned from his position as chief operating officer and president of the American Cancer Society.

His resignation was announced in an email from ACS Chief Executive Officer John Seffrin Dec. 18. No reason for the departure was cited.

Bontrager, who became the COO in 2007 and president in 2013, was, in effect, the society’s second-most-powerful official, and one of the engineers of its current move to a centralized structure.

Bontrager was also believed to have been a candidate to succeed Seffrin, who took the top job in 1992 and recently announced plans to retire (The Cancer Letter, Jan. 24). Seffrin offered to stay on until a successor is found.

Bontrager joined ACS in 1988 as director of development for the former Michigan Division. According to the ACS tax forms for 2013, his total compensation was $767,000. His sudden departure is likely a sign of the board taking a greater role in running the society.

In 2007, before Bontrager became COO, the society’s total support from the public was at its historic high point of $1.05 billion. In 2013, support from the public was $884.6 million.

ACS spokeswoman Tara Peters said Bontrager’s departure was a part of the transition. “I don’t think it’s uncommon for that sort of change to be made,” Peters said to The Cancer Letter. “His departure provides maximum flexibility for the incoming CEO to continue transforming and leading … Continue reading 40-47 ACS President & COO Resigns Unexpectedly; Was Seen as Contender for CEO Position

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