The CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic resigned Monday after less than two years on the job, according to the orchestra’s board of directors.
Simon Woods said that he tendered his resignation Monday, and the board accepted it.
“The Los Angeles Philharmonic is an extraordinary organization in every respect,” Woods said in a prepared statement. “It has been my complete honor to lead it for almost two years. However, after a great deal of reflection, I have concluded that my hopes and aspirations lie elsewhere, and as a result, I have tendered my resignation.”
Woods added that he has well wishes for Gustavo Dudamel, the L.A. Phil’s music and artistic director, as well as the musicians, staff and board members.
Board Chair Jay Rasulo will take over as interim CEO.
“The Board very much appreciates the experience, commitment and passion that Mr. Woods has contributed to the association since January 2018, and wishes him all the best for the future,” a statement from the L.A. Phil read.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Woods’ departure was a bit of a surprise to the philharmonic’s supporters.
Former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who helped secure the L.A. Phil’s 30-year lease on its venue, said he did not see Woods’ departure coming.
“I’m surprised. I’m just — surprised,” Yaroslavsky told the Times. “I have no idea what, if anything, is behind it. I’ve gotten to know him a bit and found him to be a very charming and good representative of the Philharmonic, a very good advocate. But this is odd. I’m stunned.”
Former L.A. Phil CEO Deborah Borda, who led the organization for 17 years, told the Times that Woods’ departure could be for a number of reasons.
“The cultural ecology of every artistic institution is unique and particular, and a leader who works brilliantly in one setting may simply just not be right in another,” Borda told the newspaper Monday. “Bravo to Simon for his clarity, as it must have been a difficult decision.”
The next season of the L.A. Phil is expected to start Oct. 3.