CLEVELAND - On Friday morning, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum announced that longtime president and CEO Terry Stewart will be stepping down at the end of 2013.
Stewart, 66, has been the Museum’s leader since 1999. The museum board said he plans to stay on until his successor is in place and to be available through December 2013 to ensure a smooth transition.
“Nearly 14 years is a long run for any CEO,” said Stewart in a press release. “We’ve ended a period where we had to give a lot of focus to the renovation of the Museum, to building the Library and Archives, to the capital campaign that made those efforts possible and to bringing back the Induction Ceremonies on a regular basis. With those items accomplished, we’re entering a new period with new priorities, and I think that’s the right time to hand off to a new leader.”
Stewart, a lifelong collector of rock and roll memorabilia, was previously president and chief operating officer and later vice chairman of Marvel Entertainment Group, a leader in the fields of publishing, merchandising, advertising, trading cards, toys, software and children’s television.
“Terry Stewart is an amazing leader, and the rock and roll community – and Northeast Ohio – owes him a big debt of gratitude,” said Board Chair William W. Rowley in a press release. “Today, the Rock Hall is in the best and strongest position it has ever been. In many ways, it was Terry who helped us recognize and realize our true potential as a museum.”
During Stewart’s tenure the museum successfully revamped its business model putting it in the best financial position in its history. Stewart also had a hand in the $35 million capital campaign which resulted in the museum renovation, establishment of the Library and Archives, and creation of an operating reserve for the new facility.
In Stewart’s time, Cleveland also gained the opportunity to host the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony every third year, with successful ceremonies in 2009 and again in 2012.
A search committee has been established by the museum board to look for a successor. The next CEO will face a list of priorities which will likely include securing the long-term future of the Museum by building upon the current endowment, establishing operating reserves for the Museum, playing a key role in the continued revitalization of Cleveland’s lakefront and planning for the return of the Induction Ceremonies in 2015.
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