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GMHC CEO Marjorie Hill Fired by Organization's Board

Marjorie Hill, the CEO of Gay Men's Health Crisis, will step down at the end of the month after being fired by the organization's board, DNAinfo reports:

Hill...sources within the organization said GMHC chairman Mickey Rolfe and the board ousted Hill amid accusations that she had harmed the decades-old organization by costing it millions of dollars in grants, losing dozens of talented staffers through layoffs and using an acidic management style.

"We couldn't keep a CEO there who had such a contemptuous relationship to staff and clients," said one insider, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

GMHC posted this statement on its website:

The Board of Directors of GMHC and Dr. Marjorie J. Hill would like to announce that they have mutually decided that it is now an appropriate time for GMHC to identify a new leader and for Dr. Hill to pursue the next chapter in her career. "Leading GMHC during the last several years has truly been an honor, but after more than seven years as GMHCs CEO, longer than any other head of an HIV/AIDS service organization, it is time for me to pursue new opportunities," said Dr. Hill. "I care deeply about GMHC's mission and look forward to giving any help I can to ensure that the transition to new leadership goes smoothly."

"GMHC is most grateful to Dr. Hill for her many years of service not just to our organization but to the issues of prevention, treatment, and advocacy concerning the landscape of HIV and AIDS in this country," said Myron Sulzberger Rolfe, Chair of GMHC's Board of Directors. "We wish her the very best on the next chapter in her long career in public service."

Gay City News reports:

Contrary to a press release stating that Hill’s departure was a mutual decision between her and GMHC’s 25-member board of directors, sources within the organization told this newspaper that Hill was, in fact, fired by the board.

“Hill was completely blindsided by the firing, since she believed that she had solid core support on the board,” said a source, who asked to remain anonymous due to professional concerns, via email on September 15, adding that the ouster was initially orchestrated about six months ago by board chair Myron Sulzberger Rolfe and his board colleague Manuel Rivera.

Logo.gmhcHill was with the organization for seven years.

DNAinfo adds:

The executive's problems at GMHC, which provides health and social services to HIV-positive people and organizes the city's annual AIDS Walk, began to come to a head in July, when staff learned Hill would take a paid three-month sabbatical — just one week after many staffers had their salaries slashed, sources said.

Gay City News also reports that Hill's interactions with staff and clients over the past year have been "extremely contentious" and learned of her firing through several sources who confirmed the existence of a non-disclosure contract that bound the board to silence about Hill's termination. Hill has reportedly threatened to sue them.

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  1. It took seven years. There have been problems since year one of her reign...and I said reign on purpose.

    Posted by: QJ201 | Sep 19, 2013 7:52:19 PM

  2. I suspect there were plenty of White Gay men, living with HIV that applied for the job that were equally qualified, maybe more so. Now the organization is hurting. Bad choices are not fun.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Sep 19, 2013 8:08:29 PM

  3. Oh my... An under belly exposed. Some people are so tied to liberalism, they are blind. As long as things look PC -- A woman, an African American. Six years to figure out she was packing acid?

    Posted by: Har | Sep 19, 2013 8:34:55 PM

  4. I love reading the comments on articles like these. So sad...

    Posted by: Rob | Sep 19, 2013 8:37:47 PM

  5. These things are always about money. I expect another shoe to drop as news comes out.

    Posted by: anon | Sep 19, 2013 8:41:06 PM

  6. I'm closely affiliated with GMHC as a volunteer and can easily say this woman was ALL about making herself a profit and climbing up a NYC social ladder with this position. It was awful how much she set this organization back. And organization that so many within or community genuinely rely on. I don't know how we'll bounce back from her actions.

    Posted by: Ryan | Sep 19, 2013 9:03:25 PM

  7. I heard similar stories about Ms. Hill and every time I asked why she still had her position, no one seemed to be able to answer and were wondering the same.

    Posted by: Alfonso | Sep 19, 2013 9:04:38 PM

  8. I've been in touch with this woman. Entitled is her middle name. What a complete and utter WASTE of seven years.

    Posted by: Robert | Sep 19, 2013 9:05:21 PM

  9. This is awful and so sad the patients suffering.

    Posted by: Junior | Sep 19, 2013 9:05:40 PM

  10. Does anyone know why GMHC abandoned that large building on West 24th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues in Chelsea?

    The one named after David Geffen?

    I was startled when I walked past it and saw it all boarded up.

    It seemed like a really good building.

    I was wondering if that meant GMHC could no longer afford the building or was downsizing

    Posted by: American Dreamer | Sep 19, 2013 9:34:02 PM

  11. Being a Canadian, I am not familiar with this organization or situation. However, from the photo, the woman who was fired looks like she is black.
    This being the U.S.A. expect her to sue, play the race card in some way and go after big bucks. Brace yourself. Things are going to get ugly.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 19, 2013 9:52:48 PM

  12. GMHC lost its lease, and they moved to W33rd Street. The HIV clinic moved to W23rd street.

    I suspect the building will be renovated and become an expensive condo.

    Posted by: bravo | Sep 19, 2013 10:43:33 PM

  13. The lease ran out on the 24th Street building. There were many problems with the building and the landlord expected the tenant to fix them all. There were good reasons to move on from it. To keep it would have been very expensive. Now, if it had been purchased years ago, instead of rented, all would be different.

    About Marjorie's salary. The $230,000 quoted is only her salary. Don't forget to add in the Key Executive Personnel Retention kinds of benefits and the $48,000 annual housing bonus that she got each and every year of her reign. Remember, Marjorie is a New Yorker. She didn't move here. Why did she get a housing bonus? Only to make her published salary smaller than her total compensation. Those are your AIDS Walk dollars, folks.

    After seven years of Marjorie Hill's reign, the GMHC senior management is almost uniformly mediocre. The Board of Directors is equally to blame for this, especially Marjorie's Enabler in Chief, former Board Chair Odell Mays. Marjorie only accepts senior managers who do exactly as ordered. Independent thought only gets one fired at GMHC. She has assembled a dispiriting team of toadies and misfits to be her managaing directors. A self-absorbed CEO and top down hierarchical management at its absolute worst (along with a Board that failed to pay attention) has turned the place into a shadow of its once proud self.

    The name is still good and the name recognition is strong. It can be invoked effectively all over town to help the clients. The staff is dedicated, if beaten down. The next CEO and the Board are going to have to clear out just about everyone at the top, except the CFO. The rest are titans of ineptitude and won't make it under a qualified CEO. Marjorie was the core problem, but she is not the only manager failing at GMHC.

    Posted by: Another GMHC insider | Sep 19, 2013 10:56:48 PM

  14. @David From Canada. You talk and awful lot about a people you know nothing about. Being from Canada how can you be so sure of what anyone black and American will do? I'm so sick of this. Can't a black person ever do something negative without it always turning into an indictment of the entire black race?

    Posted by: Frank | Sep 19, 2013 10:57:30 PM

  15. What's she a "doctor" of, anyways?

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Sep 19, 2013 11:37:16 PM

  16. She was awful in every sense of the word. Good riddance. Should have occurred years ago!

    Posted by: High Lech | Sep 19, 2013 11:58:17 PM

  17. Only the gay community would hire a heterosexual woman to run the gay man's health care center. We're always trying to throw our own under the bus. We can't ever celebrate ourselves, or let one another achieve greatness.

    Posted by: Lourde | Sep 20, 2013 12:00:20 AM

  18. @FRANK: Read more of the above remarks; too many people are tied to ultra liberalism and being too politically correct. They saw her as a woman and an African American.
    This is not an indictment of the entire black race, but rather, people who go overboard with being Ultra Liberals and then let this situation go on for years.
    And should she turn around and sue them and play the race card, some of them will still defend her.
    The irony of the whole thing will be lost on them.

    Posted by: David From Canada | Sep 20, 2013 12:09:29 AM

  19. I agree with your sentiments, David in Canada. Don't apologize for your honest words. What you said are factual accounts ripped from the headlines of some busing their race card for glory. Pointing that out isn't inventing it. It's discussing it.

    Posted by: PollJn | Sep 20, 2013 1:02:06 AM

  20. I counted 25 members on the GMHC Board of Directors. How on earth is a board that size going to exercise control over anything?

    The governance problems at the GMHC start right there.

    Posted by: Ashley St. Ives | Sep 20, 2013 3:42:30 AM

  21. David. You're on this site making blanket statements. You said and I quote "This being the U.S.A. I expect her to sue, play the race card in some way and go after big bucks." You're sitting here stereotyping us, as if naturally the only course of action we have over here when we're faced with being unceremoniously fired is to "play to race card" and sue. There's no ultra liberalism and political correctness at play here. From what I read it's a case of the powers that be at GMHC simply being too weak to effectively manage their own organization and stand up to someone they let run all over them. Stop trying to turn this into some kind of example in affirmative action run amock. Ultra liberal or not, race card or not, I refuse to believe that only thing keeping this woman on the board of this organization was white people's fear of this black woman.

    Posted by: Frank | Sep 20, 2013 4:32:26 AM

  22. Outrageous this situation was allowed to fester for so long.


    Was she chosen to begin with?

    Why did she last in this sensitive position for so long?

    Who are the individuals responsible for hiring her?

    Who are the individuals who kept her on for so long?

    Why would anyone donate to this organization?

    Obviously, political correctness [i.e. 'progressive' party line narrative] played a big role in both her being hired and her lasting for years well after it became obvious she was a terrible choice for the job. And I'm not just referring to her skin color/tone. Sad, because it reflects [unfairly] badly on others [in her case, women and black people] who are competent, decent, honorable people. When you give unfair advantages to ANYBODY, for whatever reason [connections, nepotism, affirmative action, i.e. reverse discrimination, etc.] you automatically create an environment full of tension, drama, hostility, suspicion, and so-on. You don't go about attempting to create a 'level playing field' by engaging in the very same policies and tactics you allegedly rage about and desire to reform. I've been alive long enough now, and have had enough life experiences, to realize many 'reforms' make matters worse, and are a continuation of the same old/same old. Be very, very leary of party-line politics, regardless of the ideology behind it, the same way you'd be leary of a cult, a confidence hustler, or even just everyday corporate marketing brainwashing techniques.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 20, 2013 8:04:53 AM

  23. The comments threads here are always a cesspool of racism. I think it might be worse here now then at Queerty at its most vile. And that's saying something.

    Posted by: 24play | Sep 20, 2013 8:16:24 AM

  24. @ 24PLAY,

    You know, I remember a life experience you spoke about a few years ago on this blog. When you were a little boy you were riding you bicyle in the park, and you attacked by a gang of Black kids. They beat you for no reason. But yet you didn't let that experience turn you into a anti-Black racist. I appreciate that, 24PLAY.

    We've never met in person (and we never will), but I will remember your decency and humanity for as long as live.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Sep 20, 2013 9:34:00 AM

  25. How can you people criticize this woman? First of all she's a woman and second of all she's black. What the hell kind of liberals are you anyway?

    Posted by: Gerry | Sep 20, 2013 9:44:41 AM

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