Pillar board chair calls leadership change a “human resources matter”, declines to comment on specifics

A photo of 201 King Street, which is the home of Pillar Nonprofit Network. (Craig Needles, Blackburn Media)

For the second time in less than 18 months, there’s been a chance in leadership at Pillar Nonprofit Network.

Mojdeh Cox, who took over the high-profile role of President and Chief Executive Officer in April of 2021, is no longer at Pillar.

The network, which, according to their website “strengthens individuals, organizations and enterprises invested in positive community impact”, works with hundreds of area non-profit organizations.

“We are a volunteer group of dedicated board members, and we are doing our best to communicate the news of this departure as quickly and as clearly as possible,” said Pillar board chair Mary Alikakos when reached by Blackburn Media on Monday. “We can not discuss confidential human resources matters.”

Alikakos had no comment on whether Cox herself had decided to leave the position, or whether the board had made that decision.

“We deeply respect our members, and we desire to have meaningful dialogue with all our members, our partners,” Alikakos said. “The broader community can be assured our team is strong, and we thank everyone for their continued support as we move through this period of change together.”

There will be an interim President and CEO at Pillar appointed this week, Alikakos said. Soon after, the search for a permanent leader will begin.

“That will be decided by the board as we undertake the recruitment process,” Alikakos said when asked what the future of the organization may look like. “I can share that we value the opinions and thoughts of staff as they are a committed group of passionate people.”

Last week, Alikakos and the board sent out a letter to Pillar stakeholders to address Cox’s departure – but the letter lacked details.

“We understand this news may be informally circulating amongst some in our stakeholder communities. While it was our intention for everyone to hear this information directly from our Board of Directors, these situations can be complex. As volunteer leaders, we are doing our best to communicate as quickly and clearly as possible, while respecting privacy and confidentiality and supporting Pillar staff,” one paragraph of the letter read.

Alikakos offered no comment on her working relationship with Cox, or the one Cox had with the board.

Cox took over the role after working as the national director of anti-racism and human rights with the Canadian Labour Congress.