Tate’s Chief Operating Officer has today been revealed as the successor to Richard Pulford as the Chief Executive of the Society of London Theatre (SOLT) and Theatrical Management Association (TMA).
Bird, who for the last three years has held a senior role at Tate, the British institution that promotes modern and contemporary art, will take up the position at the head of the two theatrical organisations in November.
Speaking about the appointment, SOLT President Nica Burns and TMA President Rachel Tackley said: “We are delighted to announced the appointment of Julian Bird who joins us from the Tate where he is currently Chief Operating Officer leading the day to day operations of the Tate group across all the galleries. He is uniquely placed to understand the needs of both organisations: London for SOLT and regional for TMA. Julian has an outstanding cv and has all the qualities we were looking for to lead SOLT/TMA into the next decade. He is passionate about the theatre, and is a Trustee and Director of various arts organisations within the UK, most notably Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud theatre. He will be a splendid advocate for British theatre.”
Prior to joining Tate, Bird spent nine years at the Financial Services Authority and has previously worked for the Bank of England.
He commented: “I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to lead SOLT and TMA forward, and look forward to working closely with Nica, Rachel, the boards of the organisations and the committed staff team. The theatre community both in London and around the UK has an enormous amount to offer, and the opportunity to advocate for it and to help drive its future success is one I am looking forward to hugely.”
Bird was appointed to the top role of the theatrical trade associations following an extensive recruitment campaign by executive search firm Odgers Berndtson. He follows outgoing Chief Executive Pulford, who has spent nine years at the heart of the British theatre community.
“It has been a great privilege to serve the community of SOLT/TMA Members and staff. I wish Julian the great good fortune in the post that I myself have enjoyed. I look forward to working with him over the next few months to provide for an effective handover,” Pulford commented.