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Joe Green Pushed Out at FWD.us

The lack of progress on immigration reform seems to be a key reason for the change in leadership.

Joe Green, the president of FWD.us, has resigned from the political organization that is backed by a coterie of tech luminaries, most prominently Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.

And, according to a “confidential” email that Zuckerberg sent out earlier today to major contributors to FWD.us, it looks like Green was pushed.

Perhaps that is not that much of a surprise, given Green has attracted quite a bit of controversy since FWD.us was founded in April of 2013 to focus on lobbying over a number of key issues important to the tech community, such as immigration reform, education and investment in math and science innovation.

“While FWD.us has achieved important milestones in the fight to reform immigration laws, Joe and I agreed a change in leadership was necessary,” said Zuckerberg in the email sent to insiders at the organization.

It’s not clear why the pair decided the time was now for said change, but FWD.us — which has offices in California and Washington, D.C. — will now be run by executive director Todd Schulte, who will become acting president.

But one reason could be the lack of any significant movement related to immigration reform, which was one of Green’s big focuses. The group had tens of millions of dollars at its disposal to work on this issue that is critical to the tech community and has come up with, well, peanuts.

Many were hoping President Obama would take executive action on immigration reform, but he has recently announced that would be delayed until after the midterm elections.

A blog post on the FWD.us site titled “Leadership Change” also confirmed the move, but noted that “Joe and the Board agreed a change in leadership was necessary.”

Among the tech leader founders involved in FWD.us: Venture capitalist bigs including Jim Breyer, Matt Cohler, John Doerr, Chamath Palihapitiya and Reid Hoffman, who is also co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn; Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston; and Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates. And its major contributors are a panoply of Silicon Valley power players, which you can see here.

Green has been a longtime social entrepreneur, having founded Causes in 2007, with well-known techie Sean Parker, who is also one of the founders of FWD.us. Green and Zuckerberg go even further back to Harvard College, where Green helped the Facebook icon with his first social networking effort, Facemash. He declined an offer by Zuckerberg to join Facebook in its earliest days.

Here’s Zuckerberg’s letter to major contributors, which I got several copies of (I removed a name and phone number below):

I’m writing to let you know that Joe Green has resigned as President of FWD.us, effective immediately, and that Executive Director Todd Schulte will become acting President. While FWD.us has achieved important milestones in the fight to reform immigration laws, Joe and I agreed a change in leadership was necessary.

I’m confident that Todd will continue to lead FWD.us’ work. He played a big role in FWD.us’ efforts to support the Senate’s successful passage of a bill in 2013 and the progress we’ve made over the past year. He has been with FWD.us since June 2013 and has been instrumental in building the case for immigration reform in DC. His prior experience as Chief-of-Staff at Priorities USA, the Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election, will ensure FWD.us continues its momentum for reform. Todd will continue to work closely with Rob Jesmer, FWD.us’ Campaign Manager, and the rest of the senior staff and team.

I’ve scheduled a call today at noon PT to discuss this change and for Todd to lay out his plans for the future, including a discussion of FWD.us’ work with the Administration on the possibility of some immigration reform via Executive Action. Please call XXX for details at XXX if you are interested in joining the call.

Please keep this information confidential until after 12:30pm PT today.

Mark

And here’s the full blog post from FWD.us:

Over the last year and a half, FWD.us has been instrumental in leading the fight for comprehensive immigration reform in D.C., and all of you, as our supporters, partners, and volunteers, made that possible. Today, we wanted to share an important change with you.

Effective immediately, Joe Green has resigned as President of FWD.us, and Executive Director Todd Schulte will be taking over the leadership role of the organization as acting President. While FWD.us has achieved important milestones in the fight to reform immigration laws, Joe and the Board agreed a change in leadership was necessary.

Todd has been with FWD.us since June 2013, and has been instrumental in building the case for immigration reform in DC. His prior experience as Chief of Staff at Priorities USA, the Super PAC supporting President Obama’s re-election, will ensure FWD.us continues its momentum for reform. Todd will continue to work closely with Rob Jesmer, who will remain FWD.us’ Campaign Manager, and with the rest of the excellent senior staff and team.

As the mid-term elections approach, the fight for immigration reform is more important than ever,” said Schulte. “FWD.us remains on the right track to continue all the great work that our supporters, employees, partners and volunteers have made possible, and we’re excited about our future.”

We’re going to stay focused on our mission of mobilizing the tech community in support of policies that keep the American Dream achievable in the 21st century, starting with comprehensive immigration reform.

Thank you, as always, for your support in this important effort to urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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