Royal Albert Hall’s esteemed CEO Chris Cotton has announced he is retiring after seven years in the top job. He leaves behind an organisation in a strong financial position, with several major refurbishment projects successfully completed during his tenure.
The 67-year-old Cotton had a successful career as an architect before taking up the RAH position in 2009..
‘RAH’s services to the wider arts community and public life far exceed its capacity as a venue,’ said Cotton. ‘There is nothing more memorable than being part of and soaking up the audience’s receptiveness and responsiveness to a performance on the Royal Albert Hall stage.’
Cotton’s tenure has not been without controversy: in 2015 he blocked RAH employees from union recognition by media and entertainment union BECTU. BECTU general secretary Gerry Morrissey described his decision as ‘a snub to both your staff and my organisation.’
However, Cotton will be remembered as a successful CEO, thanks to a strong financial record and the expansion of key programmes. Record operating surpluses have been invested in more than GBP30m (€37.7m) of building improvements, while its education and outreach programmes have grown extensively.
Commented RAH president Jon Moynihan: ‘The results of the Hall have improved tremendously since Chris took the helm, while at the same time he has overseen major infrastructure and improvement works of the Grade I listed building, setting the foundation for even better results, more shows, and greater public benefit in our future.’
RAH plan to announce a successor by March 2017.