Looks Like Chicago Found Deborah Rutter’s Replacement

It is looking like the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) is going to replace Deborah Rutter with Vancouver Symphony CEO Jeff Alexander. The 9/2/2014 edition of the Chicago Tribune reports that the decision will be formalized during a board meeting today but at this stage, that process will be mostly pro forma. Nonetheless, details such as when Alexander’s tenure will begin should be announced shortly thereafter.

ADAPTISTRATION-GUY-050The Tribune article, by Mark Caro, provides the 411 on Alexander’s background and by many accounts, he’s a solid executive with a low-key personality and it shouldn’t come as surprise if that sounds very much like the professional profile of one recently departed CSO chief executive.

For now, keep an eye out for the official announcement and if it comes along early enough in the day, you can find details here via an afternoon update.

Update: the CSO has made a press statement available but it is only available in PDF format which makes the task of copy/paste into a content management system a royal pain in the neck.  They could have simply made the release available in something like a MS Word or google doc format but I’m going to conclude that they just don’t care all the much about making it as easy as possible (and therefore more likely) for other people spread their news for them. The lesson to learn here is don’t make people track you down and ask for content in a format you should have made available to begin with.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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