Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham resigned on Monday, the Colorado Springs nonprofit announced. The decision came less than one month after watchdog blog NASA Watch attacked Pulham for his behavior on social media.
A search is currently underway to find a replacement for Pulham. Until that time, Shelli Brunswick, the organization’s chief operating officer, will stand in, Space News reported.
The chairman of the Space Foundation’s board of directors gave no specific reason for the sudden resignation, only thanking Pulham in an official statement for his 15 years of service and wishing him luck in his future pursuits.
The resignation closely follows NASA Watch’s post detailing Pulham’s “crude leadership.” The post, dated Oct. 3-4, includes a series of screenshots of posts from Pulham’s personal Facebook account.
The blogger first attacks Pulham’s cavalier attitude toward the perks of his job—which include travel compensation—and juxtaposes his bravado with the Space Foundation’s nonprofit filing.
The 2013 filing reveals that more than 50 percent of the organization’s $7 million in revenue is spent on salaries, with about $261,131 going to Pulham’s base salary. In addition, more than $250,000 went to travel expenses in 2013–and Pulham has not exactly been shy about his perks.
Screenshots from Pulham’s Facebook account show posts documenting his worldwide travels on the company’s tab. In several posts, he subtly brags about first class, and in others, rants about poor service or cramped accommodations.
The most salacious post concerned democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Fulham linked to a story about Nevada sex workers organizing for Clinton, then disparaged both the women and Clinton with a string of profanities.
NASA Watch writer Keith Cowing concluded his post by posing a question.
“The Space Foundation is one of the pre-eminent non-profits representing the space industry to government and the general public,” Cowing wrote. “Is this public behavior by CEO Elliot Pulham in sync with the lofty goals of the Space Foundation?”
As of Monday, Pulham’s bio and photo were pulled from Space Foundation’s page.
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