President & CEO Simon Woods to leave Seattle Symphony for the LA Philharmonic

Simon Woods
Simon Woods

The Seattle Symphony’s President & CEO Simon Woods, who has led the organization since 2011, will leave in January to become the Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, widely regarded as one of the nation’s most important and forward-looking orchestral organizations. A search committee led by Board Chair Leslie Jackson Chihuly and Chair-Elect René Ancinas will be formed to launch an international search for Woods’ successor.

Chihuly remarked, “I’m extremely proud of Simon’s leadership and all that we accomplished together in the past seven years for the Seattle Symphony and for the community we serve. Although we’ll miss him greatly, our organization is incredibly strong and very well-positioned to find a top CEO who will partner with our Music Director Ludovic Morlot and, in fall 2019, with our incoming Music Director Thomas Dausgaard.”

“After seven years of inspiration and friendship, the decision to leave the Seattle Symphony was extraordinarily difficult,” commented Woods. “But it’s tempered by the great sense of certainty I feel about the Symphony’s resilience and strength for the future. This is an organization that knows what it stands for, knows where it’s headed and knows how to get there. It’s an amazing group of smart, talented, creative, collaborative and dedicated people, both on stage and off, and I have no doubt whatsoever that the Seattle Symphony’s finest days still lie ahead. I am grateful beyond words to have been able to be part of the story.”

Since his arrival in 2011, Woods has partnered with Morlot to expand the orchestra’s artistic profile, fostered an innovative approach toward programming and audience development, established the Grammy Award-winning in-house record label Seattle Symphony Media, and launched Simple Gifts, a community initiative serving those experiencing homelessness.

A hallmark of Woods’ leadership has been his building of a collaborative, empowered organizational culture that has been a crucial driver of the Seattle Symphony’s artistic, financial and reputational success.