Metropolitan Museum names new chief executive and shakes up leadership structure as it seeks to further reduce budget deficit

Daniel Weiss, already Met president, to lead famed New York art institution where he has already halved budget deficit; search for a director to succeed the outgoing Thomas Campbell continues

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 6:04pm

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has appointed Daniel Weiss as chief executive, shaking up its leadership structure as the famed institution works to contain a budget deficit.

The 60-year-old medieval history scholar will take on overall leadership. Whoever replaces the outgoing director, British tapestries expert Thomas Campbell – who until recently also held the role of chief executive – will report to Weiss.

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The US expert in art from the Crusades era, who formerly headed Haverford College, a liberal arts college near Philadelphia, will remain the Met’s president, a position he has held since 2015.

Weiss’ appointment was approved unanimously by the board of trustees and follows a comprehensive review of the museum’s leadership. It means that the incoming director will lead artistic direction and curatorial priorities, leaving Weiss in charge of the budget.

A US citizen, Weiss has degrees from Johns Hopkins University, the Yale School of Management and George Washington University, and had already been serving as interim chief executive since February.

The Met, one of the world’s largest museums, with collections spanning the globe from antiquity onward, opened a modern art annex, the Met Breuer, last year and says overall attendance has shot up to seven million visits a year.

Campbell announced in February that he was resigning as director and chief executive officer. The museum is still searching for a new director.

The New York Times said Campbell was seen as having failed to recognise a ballooning budget deficit, adequately prepare for an ambitious building expansion or unite staff behind his agenda.

Having sounded the alarm about a looming US$40 million deficit, Weiss had since brought the deficit down to US$15 million after buyouts, layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.