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Rock Hall CEO Terry Stewart to retire at the end of 2013

By Malcolm Abram Published: May 11, 2012

Whatever your opinions are of the Rock Hall Foundation in NYC ("What!? No Rush, KISS or Moody Blues? Are you kidding?") Terry Stewart's genuinely loves music and has worked hard to make the Rock Hall, and by extenstion Cleveland, a place that people actually want to visit.

So, good luck Terry

From the desk of the Rock Hall...

Cleveland (May 11, 2012) – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that long-time President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Stewart intends to retire from the position by the end of 2013.  The Museum’s Board of Trustees has formed a search committee and retained an executive search firm to identify the next CEO. 

 

Stewart, 66, has been the Museum’s leader since 1999. He has agreed to stay on until his successor is in place and to be available through December 2013 to ensure a smooth transition.

 

“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.  “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.”

 

Rowley pointed out that, during Stewart’s tenure:

 

              •            The Museum revamped its business model, achieved consistent profitability and is now in the best financial position in its history.

 

              •            A $35 million capital campaign was planned and executed, providing for renovation of the Museum, establishment of the Library and Archives, and creation of an operating reserve for the new facility.

 

              •            The original dream of creating a repository to aid global scholarship in the rock and roll art form was realized with last month’s opening of the Library and Archives.

 

              •            The Museum built a nationally recognized education program.

 

              •            Cleveland gained the opportunity to host the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony every third year, turning it into a broader, publicly-accessible multi-day community event that proved itself with successful ceremonies in 2009 and again last month.

 

              •            The institution re-established itself as a cornerstone of the community by offering public events, including affordable performances, festivals and other programs that welcome Cleveland’s diverse ethnic communities and celebrate the wide range of music styles and cultures it celebrates.

 

              •            The Museum engaged with the Northeast Ohio community through collaborations with myriad civic organizations and nonprofits in order to leverage the Rock Hall to the benefit of the larger community.

 

“Nearly 14 years is a long run for any CEO,” said Stewart. “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 noted that priorities for the next CEO 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.

 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.  Marvel is best known for its comic book characters including Spiderman, the X-Men, the Incredible Hulk, Blade, Silver Surfer and an additional 3,000 super heroes. In 1991, Marvel went public and Stewart was named CNBC Marketing Executive of the Year.

The search committee is being chaired by Rowley and includes former Chair William B. Summers, Jr.; Vice Chair Christopher Connor; Trustee Alec Wightman; Trustee Jerry Sue Thornton; Jann Wenner, chairman of the New York-based Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation; and Joel Peresman, president and chief executive officer of the Foundation.

 

The search is being conducted by Heidrick & Struggles’ Bonnie Gwin, leader of that firm’s CEO and Board search practice.

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