Comic Relief chief executive steps down

24 May 2019 News

Comic Relief’s chief executive officer has announced her resignation with her intention to start a new social enterprise, it has been revealed.

Liz Warner will leave her post at the end of 2019, following three years as chief executive of the charity. She plans to start a new social enterprise and take up posts on different boards when she leaves.

During her tenure at Comic Relief, she introduced new digital fundraising techniques, launched the charity’s new Wembley Comedy Spectacular and initiated a 50/50 funding split across all the charity’s campaigns, with half of the money raised supporting projects in the UK, and half abroad.

Speaking about her departure, she said: “I came to Comic Relief with a clear remit to modernise and make change.  I believe the foundations are now laid for the organisation to face the future with renewed vigour on all media platforms.”

“The brand is incredibly strong and the talent it attracts is world class.  I am proud of the decision to fund locally led organisations and to focus our work on four of the biggest issues of our time.   I have seen first-hand just how the money we raise has helped to change millions of lives in the UK and abroad.  It has been a privilege to see and meet those whose lives have been transformed as a result of the incredible range of projects Comic Relief funds.”

Last year, Warner vowed for Comic Relief to move away from its traditional fundraising style of getting a British celebrity to present a programme about poverty in Africa.

However, this year it was once again accused of promoting a "white saviour" narrative after its programme featured documentary-maker Stacey Dooley.

Prior to her work with Comic Relief, Warner had a career in television, working for companies including Channel 4 and the BBC. Her position in Comic Relief was her first role in the charity sector.

Tim Davie, chairman of Comic Relief, said: “Liz has set the charity on course to be sector-leading in its safeguarding processes, increased its digital capability and attracted a new leadership team with a refreshed skill base, all of which means the charity is now well positioned to tackle the challenge of long-term sustainability."

"She has made Comic Relief leaner and more focused, and I want to thank her for the enormous amount of hard work and energy she has brought to this role.”

Comic Relief is starting the recruitment process for a new chief executive immediately.


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