News and analysis
November 18, 2015

KaBoom’s Founder Plans to Step Down Next Year


Darell Hammond will continue to serve as an adviser to the nonprofit, which has built more than 16,000 playgrounds in 20 years.

After nearly 20 years at the helm of KaBoom, Darell Hammond has announced that he will step down as chief executive in mid-2016. He will hand off day-to-day management responsibilities but continue to serve as an adviser to the organization. The new role will allow Mr. Hammond to join his wife, Kate Becker, who starts a new Peace Corps assignment overseas early next year.

Mr. Hammond founded the nonprofit, which builds playgrounds and promotes the importance of play in the lives of children, from his apartment in 1996. Since then, KaBoom has raised more than $300 million and engaged more than a million volunteers to build some 16,000 play spaces.

Mr. Hammond is known as an outspoken leader. In 2011, he told The Chronicle that talk about innovation in the nonprofit world often doesn’t match reality.

"A lot of times, unfortunately, it’s putting lipstick on the proverbial pig to try to gussy yourself up for more funding," he said. "You start to put an innovative spin on the exact same thing you were doing yesterday."

KaBoom’s board of directors plans to announce succession plans early next year.

Send an email to Nicole Wallace.