Friday 29 June 2012
The Sydney Opera House Trust today announced that Louise Herron has been appointed Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House commencing 6 August 2012.
Louise has been Chair of the Australia Council’s Major Performing Arts Board since June last year and chaired Belvoir St Theatre for ten years. Her background is in law and corporate advice.
Trust Chairman, Kim Williams, congratulated Louise on her appointment, which followed an extensive local and international recruitment process by executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates.
“I am delighted to welcome Louise into the role of Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House,” Mr Williams said.
“Louise brings significant and diverse business experience and a demonstrated passion for, and leadership in, the arts. Her skills will be a perfect complement to the existing executive team.
“She is well known to our resident companies, through her recent role as Chair of the Major Performing Arts Board. We couldn’t be more pleased with this appointment.”
Minister for the Arts, George Souris, also congratulated Louise Herron on her appointment.
“I welcome Louise and look forward to her stewardship of this iconic building and one of the world’s great institutions, at a time when Sydney Opera House is more popular than ever,” Mr Souris said.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Herron said: ‘It is an honour to be entrusted with running the Sydney Opera House, a building recognised by UNESCO as a masterpiece of human creative genius.
“Sydney Opera House has built an enviable reputation as a cultural and tourism destination. We will be working to continue to improve Sydney Opera House, both as a building and for the experiences it offers, particularly at this time when new attendances are increasing dramatically.”
Mr Williams added: “Louise understands that Sydney Opera House faces unique challenges as a high-profile, World Heritage-Listed cultural and tourism destination with seven venues, ongoing major construction works, and diverse business streams. I know that she relishes the challenge to fully realise the opportunities Sydney Opera House presents.
“On behalf of the Trust and all who work at Sydney Opera House, I would also like to give special thanks to Mr Jonathan Bielski who has acted in the CEO role since late February.
“He has led the many hardworking teams at Sydney Opera House with dedication and sensitivity. Jonathan will continue to act as CEO until Ms Herron commences in August then he will return to his significant role directing all our programming activities as Executive Producer, Sydney Opera House Presents.”
Ms Herron will be the first woman appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer of Sydney Opera House since it opened in 1973 (Sydney Opera House Trustee Sue Nattrass was acting CEO for several months in 2007).
Louise Herron was appointed Chair of the Australia Council’s Major Performing Arts Board in June 2011. She was Chair of Belvoir Street Theatre from 2002 to 2011. During that time, the Belvoir Board oversaw the redevelopment of the theatre, acquisition and renovation of a warehouse to house administration and rehearsals for Belvoir’s upstairs and downstairs theatres.
Louise co-founded and is an Executive Director of Ironbark Corporate Advisory, a boutique corporate advisory firm specialising in restructures, mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. Previously Louise consulted to Carnegie Wylie and Investec Bank Australia. Louise started her professional career as a lawyer and was a partner at Minter Ellison specialising in corporate and technology related transactions. Louise is also a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School and Director of Australian Ethical Investments Limited and while Chair of Belvoir, served two terms as a director of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG).
Upon taking up her role as Sydney Opera House CEO, Louise will relinquish all her current roles but will remain a Trustee of Sydney Grammar School.
Sydney Opera House – Christopher Wynton
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