SSPCA board thanks Earley for his contribution over nine years
Scotland’s highest paid charity boss has resigned.
Stuart Earley, the chief executive of the Scottish SPCA, is standing down with immediate effect.
It is understood that the board of the animal welfare charity was told of his decision, which was accepted.
Its board has thanked Mr Earley "invaluable contribution" to the “positive transformation” of the society over the past nine years.
If you are good you deserve to be well paid but it should be reflective of what contemporaries are getting paid
He had faced criticisms over his salary of around £216,000 a year.
It has been reported that Mr Early walked after complaints from fundraisers who cited bad publicity over his income – which was £50,000 more than the prime minister.
Claims have been made that this became an issue on the doorstep, impacting income as it became difficult to ask for donations from ordinary people.
A year ago, the charity also came under fire when it was revealed his wife had received £12,000 over a three year period from the charity for stabling rescued horses at her livery yard in Dollar, Clackmannanshire.
However then the SSPCA hit back, saying that Mr Earley has presided over the most successful period in its history with 83p of every £1 donated now spent directly on its mission of supporting vulnerable animals.
Now it has allowed him to leave to pursue “new challenges”.
Mr Earley’s salary had proved controversial in the animal welfare sector.
He was criticised by John Robins of pressure group Animal Concern, who said “This pay is nothing short of ridiculous.
“The Scottish SPCA cannot justify paying one person a salary that could pay for seven or eight good campaigners.
“Yes if you are good you deserve to be well paid but it should be reflective of what contemporaries in similar fields are getting paid.
“This ludicrous wage is clearly out of sync from what other animal charity CEOs get.”
Scottish SPCA Chairman Harry Haworth said Mr Earley had made an “invaluable contribution” to the organisation.
“Stuart has been instrumental in the positive transformation of the Society over the past nine years and we are grateful for his stewardship, hard work and dedication.” he added.
The society has started the process to replace Mr Earley and in the meantime his executive duties will be undertaken by Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, Mike Flynn and David Webster, finance director, as interim joint chief executives.