Doug Allen

Following weeks of infighting over his handling of contract negotiations, Doug Allen has resigned as national executive director and lead negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild.

Allen announced that he is stepping down Monday afternoon in an email to SAG staff in which he thanked them, Variety reports. TVGuide.com's calls to SAG reps in New York and Los Angeles were not immediately returned.

David White, former SAG general counsel, is stepping in for Allen as the interim national director, while SAG senior adviser John T. Maguire will take over as chief negotiator. There are also reportedly plans to replace the entire prime time and feature negotiating committee.

SAG members' contract expired June 30, 2008, when Allen and other negotiators rejected a proposal over online and DVD residuals, among other things. While some of the Guild membership blamed him for the failed talks, his leadership became increasingly controversial in recent months, as internal dissent intensified over his push for a strike vote authorization.

Allen's resignation came hours after members of the board delivered a letter of "written assent" to the Guild's Hollywood headquarters authorizing his removal from his post. The move is authorized by SAG's constitution to allow the board to work outside of the boardroom proceedings. It followed a two-day, emergency board meeting two weeks ago, in which efforts to oust the embattled leader were stymied by a filibuster.

Does this mark a new start for SAG?