Bishop Museum CEO, 2 other execs ousted after months-long probe

Their departures are in effect immediately after a unanimous vote.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 1:51 PM HST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 at 4:25 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Bishop Museum’s CEO and two other top leaders are stepping down following a months-long internal investigation, the nonprofit’s board of directors announced Thursday.

Their departures are in effect immediately after a unanimous vote.

The Bishop Museum’s board put CEO Melanie Ide and two other leaders — Vice President of Operations Wesley “Kaiwi” Yoon and general counsel Barron Oda — on paid administrative leave in July during an internal investigation into complaints of an alleged hostile work environment.


The investigator, an attorney with 40 years of experience in labor law, interviewed nearly 45 current and former members of the museum’s staff, according to the board.

“Our kuleana as a board is to ensure a healthy and safe work environment for the staff whose work provides the foundation for the success and longevity of Bishop Museum,” said board chairman Wayne Pitluck, in a statement.

“After thorough review and discussion, the full board feels separation of the three executives from Bishop Museum is required to provide the proper work environment for our engaged and dedicated staff.”

Ide served as Bishop Museum’s leader for more than four years and was viewed as a respected leader in the community and among museum employees — which was why many were surprised about the decision to put her and the other two leaders on paid leave.

Ide spoke to HNN in July, before she was ordered to stay silent.

“There have been anonymous reports of things that take place in the workplace, which I’m going to say from the things that I’m aware of are things that have been handled and they’ve been going through policies and procedures,” she said.

It was not immediately clear if the leaders left voluntarily or had been asked to leave.

The board said it would appoint an interim CEO and begin a search for a new CEO.