An email sent to NEXT Canada partners yesterday confirmed that the Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of newly-named CEO, Razor Suleman. BetaKit has reproduced the contents of the email below.
The news comes just one month after the announcement of Suleman’s new role, as part of the non-profit’s rebrand from Next 36 to NEXT Canada (Next 36 Managing Director Peter Carrescia was also named President at that time), and just two weeks after commitments to address issues of diversity and inclusivity within the organization.
The commitments were in part a reaction to recent criticisms of personnel and location decisions made during the planning of the recent Spotlight Awards, co-founded by Suleman (disclosure: BetaKit was the media sponsor for the Spotlight Awards), as well as a lack of diversity on NEXT’s board. In the letter to partners, NEXT Canada stated that Suleman’s resignation was based on “the desire not to let recent events become a distraction to the ongoing and important mission of NEXT Canada.”
The organization also re-confirmed its commitment to the proposed inclusivity and gender parity actions outlined here.
BetaKit reached out to NEXT Canada, which confirmed the news, stating that “Mr. Suleman made the decision in the best interests of the organization and continues to be a strong supporter of NEXT Canada and its important mission.”
The organization also confirmed that mentor Andrea Matheson has agreed to act as co-president of NEXT Canada, sharing all management responsibilities with Carrescia until a formal search for a new CEO is completed. Matheson has served as a NEXT mentor since 2012, and is the CEO of Sapphire Digital Health Solutions, while also serving as a board member of VivaVax and SeamlessMD (where she is also an investor).
BetaKit also contacted Suleman, who said, “I’m excited that Andrea has decided to join us as NEXT Canada’s co-President. She’s an accomplished leader, and shares our passion for growing the tech ecosystem.”
To Partners of NEXT Canada,
Today, the Board of Directors of NEXT Canada accepted the resignation of CEO Razor Suleman.
Mr. Suleman made the decision in the best interests of the organization and in the desire not to let recent events become a distraction to the ongoing and important mission of NEXT Canada.
The board remains committed to the previously disclosed organization-wide actions and timelines to address the issues of inclusivity and gender parity that have been raised.
We look forward to sharing our progress with you in the coming weeks and months.