Loren Mayor, NPR’s president of operations, is leaving the network to become COO at World Wildlife Fund.
Mayor told NPR staff in an email Thursday that she will leave the network at the end of the month.
“Over the past few years, my sense of despair about the state of our planet has been intensifying,” Mayor said in the email. “Rather than giving in to that devastating ‘apathetic helplessness’ Bill Siemering warned about in our mission statement, I have decided to choose the path of, as Bill says, ‘active, constructive participation’ and try to help make a change.”
Mayor had been the “leading internal candidate” to replace former CEO Jarl Mohn, according to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. NPR hired John Lansing as CEO in September.
In her current role, Mayor oversees leadership of divisions including development, programming and member partnership. She was promoted to president of operations from COO in 2018. Before joining NPR in 2012, Mayor was VP of strategy and ventures at PBS and spent five years at CPB.
Mayor ran NPR during Mohn’s medical leave of absence in 2017 and led efforts to improve workplace culture after NPR’s top news executive and other newsroom leaders faced allegations of sexual harassment.
When Mayor told Lansing of her departure, “he fought very hard to keep me, and he made this an even more difficult decision,” she wrote.
In an email to member station leaders, Lansing wrote that Mayor has been “all things to NPR. A deeply caring leader. A brilliant strategist. A champion of our newsroom, programming, and workplace. A true believer in the power of the NPR-Member station connection. The NPR mission personified.”
“Loren has brought a steady hand and open heart to all she has done at NPR,” Lansing wrote. “She has thrown herself into her work and this organization, and NPR is better for it. I’m deeply grateful to her.”
WWF CEO Carter Roberts praised Mayor for being able to “work with teams to build a culture that inspires.”
“She knows how to craft strategy and deliver against it with partners of all types,” Roberts said. “She’s a straight shooter and cares deeply about people. We’re lucky to have her as our COO.”
Mayor will begin in her new role in mid-March, according to a WWF spokesperson.