Thursday, July 15, 2021

Mark Hanson Leaving SFS

Davies Symphony Hall
Photo by Lisa Hirsch

Oh, now, this is a big shock:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—On behalf of the San Francisco Symphony, President Priscilla B. Geeslin announced today that the Board of Governors has accepted Mark C. Hanson’s resignation from his position as Chief Executive Officer, effective August 31, 2021. 

Mark Hanson stated, “The San Francisco Symphony is a dynamic organization, and it has been a true honor to lead them through complex transitions and challenges. With the San Francisco Symphony now back up and performing as a full ensemble for live audiences following our successful pandemic pivots, I have decided that this is the right time to pursue my next professional opportunity within a different environment. I am proud of what we have been able to achieve over the past four years: from implementing a multi-year financial plan that put the organization on a path to restoring stability and establishing a multi-constituency Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workgroup; to successfully celebrating the conclusion of Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas’ tenure, and more recently engaging new Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen.” 

San Francisco Symphony President Priscilla Geeslin said, “The Board fully understands Mark’s decision and thanks him for his steadfast work with appreciation for the experience, commitment, and passion with which he led the San Francisco Symphony over the past four years. We wish him all the best as he moves on.” 

To ensure continuity moving forward, Matthew Spivey has been appointed Interim CEO. Spivey is currently Chief Programming Officer of the San Francisco Symphony and has been with the organization for five years.

Here's a CEO who didn't have labor problems, made the most unexpected and fabulous music director hire, and kept the orchestra moving through the pandemic. I'm really flabbergasted. I mean, I sincerely hope that there isn't Bad Stuff we don't know about behind this change. (Update: I would like to note that if there were Bad Stuff, it's probable that he would have been fired and walked out of Davies immediately.)

Updated: Looks as though Joshua Kosman had an hour's lead on this, that is, not much more than the rest of us.

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