New Apollo director says he’s stepping down over ‘conflict of interest’

A newly minted board member at Apollo Global Management stated he’s stepping down over a battle of curiosity — and he insists that it’s not the battle of curiosity some have been guessing.

Earlier this month, the private-equity big revealed in a little-noticed securities submitting that Siddhartha Mukherjee — an oncologist and Pulitzer Prize winner who recently has grow to be a COVID vaccine guru — “will not stand for reelection” after he completes a one-year stint as an impartial director on Apollo’s board that started March 1.

“I have a conflict because I am being vetted for a major inter-governmental position,” Mukherjee instructed The Post, declining to elaborate additional on the brand new gig. The timing of his exit “depends on when the vetting process is completed,” however will possible be earlier than his time period expires subsequent March, he stated.

Leon Black speaking at a conference
Leon Black introduced his shock departure on March 22.

Mukherjee joins a current stampede that has included, at the beginning, Apollo’s former chairman and chief government Leon Black, who introduced his shock departure on March 22 amid rising questions on his monetary ties to Jeffrey Epstein. Black paid the useless pedophile $158 million for tax- and estate-planning companies after Epstein’s 2008 conviction for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Jeffrey Epstein seated on a couch
Questions endured about Leon Black’s monetary connection to the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein.
Corbis through Getty Images

Immediately earlier than his exit, Black was additionally hit with accusations of sexual misconduct from an ex-Russian mannequin, based on courtroom docs. Black denied the allegations, claiming he was being extorted. His accuser, Guzel Ganieva, filed a defamation go well with in response. Amid these controversies, different departing board members have included New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Kraft has not been accused of any wrongdoing associated to Black, and a supply stated Kraft’s exit was his personal concept. 

But as reported by The Post in an exclusive April 25 story, Mukherjee’s appointment had significantly raised eyebrows, together with hypothesis that he was half of a plan by Black to maintain affect over Apollo’s board whilst he stepped down.

That’s as a result of Mukherjee’s spouse, the artist Sarah Sze, has recently been a beneficiary of Black, who was among the many donors of a 2018 sculpture by Sze to the Storm King Arts Center in New Windsor, NY. Black’s Phaidon Press printed the primary main examine of Sze’s work in 2016. Black additionally was chair of the Museum of Modern Art when it hosted an artwork set up by Sze.

Artist Sarah Sze attends a Whitney Museum event
Artist Sarah Sze is married to Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Brad Barket

Mukherjee instructed The Post his spouse’s affiliation with Leon Black “has nothing to do with anything” on the subject of his resolution to go away Apollo’s board.

Another supply near Apollo begged to vary, speculating that Sze “wasn’t down with that reputational heat.”

An Apollo spokesperson declined to remark, however beforehand rejected hypothesis that Black maintained affect over the Board via the brand new administrators. “It is disappointing that the integrity and independence of such highly accomplished individuals is being questioned by anonymous, unsubstantiated accusations,” Apollo stated on the time.

In its June 11 submitting, Apollo stated, “Physician and scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee, whose counsel has added great value over the past few months, has informed Apollo that he will not stand for reelection after his term is complete. He will continue to provide advice to the company on technology matters after the completion of his term.”

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