Tessa Ross and Rufus Norris (Photo: Paul Plews)
Tessa Ross and Rufus Norris (Photo: Paul Plews)

Tessa Ross to leave National Theatre

Published April 17, 2015

Tessa Ross, the National Theatre’s Chief Executive, is to leave the South Bank institution after only months in the role.

Ross, the former C4 Controller of Film and Drama, cited issues within the organisation’s management hierarchy as her reason for departing so swiftly.

In a statement issued by the National, Ross said: “I joined the NT last year and have got to know the organisation in great detail. However, it has become clear to me that the new leadership structure, with a separate role of Chief Executive, is not right for the NT at this time, and so I have decided to step down.” 

Ross’ departure from the National Theatre leaves Director Rufus Norris and Executive Director Lisa Burger at the helm of the world famous theatrical institution, though Ross will continue to aid the pair in a consulting role.

Norris commented: “Tessa’s role in the planning of my first year and beyond at the NT has been invaluable and immense. I’m sad that our partnership is ending prematurely but am grateful for everything she has done here, and happy that we’ll work together on a consultancy basis. As I continue to steer this extraordinary powerhouse, I look forward to working in close partnership with Lisa Burger as together we build on our plans for the National’s future.”

Though Ross joined the NT last November, having been unveiled as the successor to Nick Starr in March 2014, the news of her departure comes just weeks after Norris officially succeeded previous National Theatre Director Nicholas Hytner.

His first season, programmed alongside Ross, begins this month with the openings of Light Shining In Buckinghamshire and Everyman.

"It has become clear to me that the new leadership structure, with a separate role of Chief Executive, is not right for the NT at this time."