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East Bay Asian Local Development jettisons CEO, COO quits in protest
CEO Andy Madeira forced out, COO Karim Sultan resigns
East Bay Asian Local Development is sailing without a fixed corporate rudder.
The Oakland nonprofit housing developer has operated without permanent C-suite leadership since CEO Andy Madeira was forced out this month and COO Karim Sultan resigned in protest, the San Francisco Business Times reported.
The developer, known as EBALDC, also has been without a CFO since last spring – and has had three chief financial officers since 2019.
The organization said Feb. 2 it “parted ways” with Madeira, who had been at the helm for two years, but declined to comment on the circumstances.
Sultan, who had been with EBALDC for just over a year, posted on LinkedIn that its decision to toss Madeira overboard had caused him to lose “all confidence in the leadership and board.”
“This decision will cause external partners to question the viability of the organization,” Sultan wrote. “Those questions will put at risk EBALDC’s ability to serve the community as it has been doing for 47 years.”
Madeira posted on LinkedIn that he was parting ways with EBALDC over “different visions of EBALDC’s future and model for sustainability.” When asked for additional comment, he referred the Business Times to his post and Sultan’s.
Leslie Francis, vice chair of the affordable developer’s board, defended the organization by saying it has dealt with its share of leadership changes during the three-year pandemic and California’s evolving approach to funding of affordable housing construction.
And while those changes are never welcome, the organization remains strong, Francis told the Business Times.
“The core of EBALDC — how it does its business, its governance, its processes, its relations — is 40-plus years in the making,” she said. “We are very well known for delivering successful projects in terms of our real estate portfolio and the properties we manage, and the wrap-around programs we provide.
“Those are not going away, those are not changing, those are not disappearing.”
The nonprofit oversees 2,300 affordable units in and around Oakland, according to its website.
It was recently awarded funding for The Phoenix, a 52-unit project in West Oakland, and snagged city approval for a 91-unit project near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, plus a joint venture for a 556-unit project and 500,000 square feet of offices on the edge of Chinatown.
The developer has tapped Sean Sullivan, owner of Oakland’s The Port Bar who served as chair until the beginning of this year, to serve as acting CEO in the wake of Madeira’s departure. He will remain for three months, until the nonprofit finds a suitable interim candidate, according to the Business Times. A consultant has been hired as interim CFO.
East Bay Asian Local Development reported net assets worth $50.6 million in 2019, according to the most recently available tax filings, up from $29.89 million in 2018.
— Dana Bartholomew
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