Miss America CEO, Board Chair Resign Amid Email Scandal

Miss America Organization CEO and executive chairman Sam Haskell has resigned after a Huffington Post report brought to light internal communications that contained inappropriate language. Josh Randle, COO and president of the organization, and Lynn Weidner, board chair, have also resigned.

According to a statement posted to Twitter, Weidner will remain on the board for up to 90 days to ease the transition. Dan Meyers will take on the role of interim chairman.

Read the full statement below:

“This afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Miss America Organization accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Haskell, effective immediately. The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner. At the Board’s request, Ms. Weidner has agreed to remain on the Board for up to ninety days to facilitate a smooth transition for the MAO to new leadership.

The Board thanks Lynn and Sam for many years of tireless work for, and significant financial support to, both the Miss America Organization and thousands of young women who received millions of dollars of educational scholarships from the Organization as a direct result of their efforts.”

Haskell was suspended Friday after sexist email exchanges about past winners and contestants were revealed. The MAO board had said it would investigate allegations that Haskell was highly critical and waged an effort to suppress criticism of his leadership of the organization, among other claims. In a statement, Haskell apologized for using poor judgment in some of his email communications with other MAO-connected individuals, but he also denied aspects of the Huffington Post report on his email exchanges.

Haskell had faced pressure to resign after the revelations, with 49 former Miss Americas issuing a joint statement urging the move. The mayor of Atlantic City and former MAO CEO Leonard Horn recommended his departure as well.

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