(Bloomberg) -- Armin Falk, who was appointed to lead Germany’s Institute of Labor Economics, is pulling out from the post, according to a statement Monday.

The Deutsche Post Foundation, which funds the institute, known as IZA, said Falk had asked to “withdraw his appointment to lead IZA.” He had been appointed earlier this month as the new director of the leading labor-market research organization and was due to start Jan. 1.

The foundation “will comply with his request with regret and great respect for his outstanding scientific achievements and the commitment he has shown for over 20 years to the research institutes funded by the DPS,” it said in the statement.

Falk had also asked to be released from his current position as chief executive officer of the Institute on Behavior & Inequality, known as briq, which is merging with IZA.

The move comes after more than 600 economists including Nobel Prize winner Claudia Goldin spoke out against Falk’s appointment to IZA, citing allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power that surfaced last year on social media. The economist was “fully exonerated” by an independent investigation ordered by briq and a separate review by the University of Bonn, where he is a professor. 

Martin T. Clemens, the chief financial officer of IZA and briq, will continue as administrative director of IZA, according to the statement.


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