Kazatchkine steps down as Global Fund head

The head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced an abrupt resignation on Tuesday as part of a major shakeup in the fund's top management due to alleged corruption and misspending.

Michel Kazatchkine, a French clinical immunologist and the executive director of the fund for the last five years, will resign in March. The changes in the organization are a result of an internal review meant to address major problems related to losses, withheld funding and scaled back spending, the Associated Press reports.

Kazatchkine said that the board's decision to create a new position of general manager was one of the main circumstances that caused his departure. Gabriel Jaramillo, the former CEO and chairman of Sovereign Bank, will take over as general manager on February 1.

"(Jaramillo's job is) a newly created position intended to oversee a process of transformation as it accelerates the fight against the three pandemics by focusing on its management of risk and grants," the fund said, according to the Associated Press.

The fund was set up in 2002 as a new way to bring together world efforts against diseases and to move emergency funds to the places hardest hit as quickly as possible. A series of Associated Press articles in January 2011 discussed the loss of tens of millions of dollars in the fund due to alleged fraud and mismanagement. The outside panel was created in March.

The fund cancelled its plans last year to expand its programs by over $1 billion when budget projections decreased, leading to the creation of the new general manager position.