Over the last several weeks SFGN has been inquiring about what happened to Compass’ long time CEO Tony Plakas. The Compass board has so far evaded answering those questions. On Tuesday the board finally broke its silence and released a public statement.
“In January 2018, after much deliberation and consideration, and in recognition of Tony Plakas' over 20 years of service as celebrated in November 2017, the board of trustees and Tony decided to move in a new direction for the organization,” the statement reads. “We are grateful for Tony's contributions and vision. Under his leadership, Compass grew to be a nationally recognized LGBTQ community center. We will always be grateful for his dedication and hard work.”
It’s unclear why it took the organization almost 5 months to make this announcement.
SFGN first inquired about Plakas’ departure in January and asked why nothing was made public. Julie Seaver, the acting executive director, said she would have liked to release a joint statement with her former boss, but that was up to the board, and she didn’t know why they weren’t saying anything.
Compass’ statement did not address this. And so far Plakas has declined to comment.
Seaver previously told SFGN, “Basically, he and the board decided to end his contract. It was a little unexpected, but I’m excited.”
As SFGN previously reported, someone familiar with the organization, who asked not to have his name published, stated he thought Plakas’ salary was too high compared to other non-profit organizations.
According to the latest tax documents, which are now downloadable on Compass’ website, Plakas earned $126,135 in 2016 and $126,000 in 2015. In previous years, his salary was lower. In other years, it was higher. In 2009, it was $90,857. In 2012, it was $142,830. In 2013, it was $112,000. In 2014, it was $130,500.
The Compass statement did not address this.
“This was a topic that was brought up,” Seaver previously stated. She said Plakas’ salary was on par with directors of other LGBT organizations from around the country. She said that a lot of work and responsibility goes into the CEO position. “Fiduciary oversight is an extreme responsibility and they take that responsibility very seriously.”
The statement also announced that the board has launched an executive director search process.
UPDATE on May 2: Recently Compass informed SFGN one of thier statements in this story was taken out of context. "The way [Julie Seaver] was quoted in the article made it sound as if she were excited about Tony’s leaving, which was not the case." We regret any confusion.