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August 08, 2016

Wounded Warrior Project Likely to Cut Jobs, New CEO Says

The new chief executive of the Wounded Warrior Project tells The Florida Times-Union he expects to lay off an undisclosed number of employees at the embattled nonprofit and that its spending to assist smaller veterans groups is also likely to shrink. Michael Linnington said details of the restructuring will be announced next month, and it will include pay cuts for senior officials at the country’s largest charity serving former troops.

Mr. Linnington, a 35-year Army veteran and retired general, took the reins at the Jacksonville-based charity last month in the wake of media reports about its spending on travel, conferences, and executive compensation, which led to Steven Nardizzi’s ouster as CEO in March. Mr. Linnington said he was hired at a salary of $280,000, nearly $200,000 less than Mr. Nardizzi’s base pay in 2013, the last year for which figures are available.

“We’re looking at all of the salaries of all of our executives now, and I think that you will see them all trend down, as well,” Mr. Linnington said. “That’s part of trying to squeeze every nickel out of every donor dollar and to get it where it’s most needed: with those who served.”

Wounded Warrior has about 600 employees. Under Mr. Nardizzi, the charity rapidly boosted revenue from just under $41 million in 2009, his first year, to more than $342 million in 2013. The former CEO told the Times-Union he projects the nonprofit will raise about $200 million this year.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy interview with Mr. Nardizzi about his departure from the Wounded Warrior Project and the controversy over its spending.