Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who helped eliminate the pageant's swimsuit competition, is stepping down as board chairwoman of the Miss America Organization.
She was part of an all-female leadership team that took over the pageant in 2018 following an email scandal in which male leaders insulted former Miss Americas, denigrating their appearance, intelligence and even their sex lives.
During her time on the team Carlson pushed for the elimination of the swimsuit competition from the pageant, which originated in Atlantic City nearly 100 years ago.
In place of the swimsuit competition last year, contestants spoke about themselves, their goals and how they planned to serve the community.
Some welcomed the change as making the pageant more relevant, but many state organizations rebelled against the new leadership team's management.
US media reported pageant directors for New Jersey and other states called for Carlson and other members of the board's resignation - citing a lack of transparency in their management.