Giving Compass' Take:

• Emmett Carson is stepping down as CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation after 11 years due to complaints regarding an unsafe and hostile work environment. 

Holding executives accountable in philanthropy is a challenging but necessary task. How can community foundations learn from this and move forward with regard to accountability, transparency, and trust? 

• Read more about Silicon Valley Community Foundation's struggles earlier this year. 

Emmett Carson, who in recent years raised billions of charitable dollars from some of the world’s most powerful technology entrepreneurs, has left his job as chief executive of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. In a contrite statement released midday Wednesday, the foundation’s board said that a recent investigation substantiated complaints by current and former employees about a toxic workplace culture.

"SVCF clearly failed to provide a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees," the statement said. "The board recognizes that this failure happened under our watch, and that many current and former staff were deeply impacted."

The investigation did not find any financial improprieties, the board said, noting that nobody had raised any concerns about the use of donated funds. The board statement did not provide the terms of Emmett Carson’s departure, saying only that it was "effective immediately" and will enable the foundation "to continue its workplace environment and execute its mission as effectively as possible."

A written statement by Carson, provided to the Chronicle by a communications consulting firm, did not directly acknowledge specific complaints by numerous former and current employees that he had turned a blind eye to serious problems at the organization for years.

Carson’s departure marks an abrupt end to 11 years of leadership at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which he led from the outset of a controversial merger of two existing regional philanthropies. During his tenure, the organization grew into a $13.5 billion powerhouse whose top donor rolls read like the who’s who of the Silicon Valley and beyond.

Read the full article about Emmett Carson by Megan O’Neil at The Chronicle of Philanthropy