Livestrong Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey will take over as head of the foundation.
"This is a great development," Doug White, an adviser to charities who teaches in Columbia University's School of Continuing Education, said in a telephone interview. "You have a charity that's positioning itself for a very important cause and you have the leader of that cause that's very much under the gun for breaking what's considered to be pretty important rules. The question is how can that happen with a charity? It can't." The charity should move a step further and remove Armstrong from the board entirely, White said. Armstrong's personality might be too strong to be ignored by other board members when decisions are made, he said.
"I would rather him be a person that's not connected at all with the organization," White said. "His being on the board does keep that connection and that's not good."
Nike is scheduled to co-sponsor events celebrating the 15th anniversary of Livestrong in the coming weeks, according to a report in Outside Magazine cited Wednesday by cyclingnews.com. It said the company signed a five-year contract in 2010 to pay the Lance Armstrong Foundation at least $7.5 million annually from profits generated by Livestrong merchandise.
Armstrong made $21 million in 2010, making him the 50th highest-paid athlete in the world and the wealthiest cyclist, according to an annual list released by Forbes magazine.
He also has endorsement deals with Trek Bicycle Corp., Anheuser-Busch InBev's Michelob Ultra beer, Luxottica Group's Oakley unit, and RadioShack Corp., as well as smaller companies such FRS Co. and Honey Stinger, which make energy and nutrition products.
Emails seeking comment from Phillip Cleveland, a spokesman for Anheuser-Busch; Honey Stinger marketing director Len Zanni; Costanza Assereto, a spokeswoman for Luxottica Group SpA, which owns Oakley; and Eric Bjorling, a spokesman for Trek, weren't immediately returned.
Armstrong was banned for life from competitive cycling and all other Olympic-related sports and stripped of his Tour de France titles on Aug. 23 after opting not to fight USADA's allegations.
The USADA decision is "a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories," Armstrong's lawyer Timothy Herman said last week.