The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center president is stepping down. Ronald DePinho, who has led the institution for nearly six years and was involved in managerial and financial controversies, wrote in a letter to his staff that it is “time for a change in leadership.”
As the Houston Chronicle noted, “DePinho’s [leadership] at MD Anderson was marked by change, criticism, and challenges.” In March 2013, for example, around one-third of institute employees who responded to a survey indicated dissatisfaction with his management. That May, The Cancer Letter reported that the institute spent around $1.5 million in building renovations for DePinho’s wife, Lydia Chin, chair of MD Anderson’s genomic medicine department. The institute disputed the report at the time.
In 2016, the institute reported significant operating losses. MD Anderson “was expecting to lose as much as $450 million in 2017,” STAT News reported, “though it brings in about $4 billion in annual revenue.”
“In an era of significant and rapid financial change, we are recovering well from short-term challenges and, longer term, have diversified our revenue streams through philanthropy, strategic ventures and innovation,” DePinho wrote in his letter, adding: “I could have done a better job administratively, a better job listening, a better job communicating. Forgive me for my short comings [sic].”
THUMBNAIL IMAGE: WIKIMEDIA, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS MD ANDERSON CANCER CENTER