WWF-M’sia chief steps down, makes way for ‘fresh vision’


WWF Executive Director and CEO, Datuk Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma.

PETALING JAYA: WWF-Malaysia will have a new chief executive officer soon after Datuk Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma (pic) resigned on Monday.

His official last day with the conservation group is Oct 9.

WWF-Malaysia said in an internal note to staff that Dr Dionysius had cited professional and personal reasons behind his decision.

“He expres­sed the belief that one of the most important tasks for any leader is to realise when it is time to step down and allow fresh vision and lea­der­ship to take the organisation to the next level,” said the group.

Dr Dionysius, who has been ser­ving as the CEO and executive director of WWF-Malaysia since 2007, is relinquishing both positions.

In March, allegations of sexual harassment complaints being “swept under the carpet” by people in authority at WWF-Malaysia had surfaced.

A former WWF-Malaysia emplo­yee shared on Facebook that nume­rous complaints had been lodged against an individual who took advantage of junior female staff and sexually harassed them.

The alleged perpetrator even­tually left WWF-Malaysia on his own accord.

WWF-Malaysia had said then that necessary action was being taken to address the allegations and that although the alleged victims, perpetrators and key management were no longer in the organisation, it had reopened an investigation.

On Wednesday, the conservation group said in an e-mail response to The Star that its board had launched a review into how it could adopt greater duty of care for its staff.

A number of measures had been taken to improve the handling of allegations of harassment abuse in the future, it said.

“These build on steps already put in place and will encompass the standards newly strengthened by WWF International on discrimination and harassment, child protection rights and the network’s whistleblowing policy towards generating greater awareness and understanding around respectful beha­viour in the workplace,” WWF said in the statement.

On the replacement for Dr Diony­sius, it said an interim executive committee comprising board members and staff had been formed to ensure a smooth transition and initiate the process of hiring a new CEO.


   

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