Craig Whitehead will step down in November.

Whitehead to depart WASO

Thursday, 19 July, 2018 - 14:20

Craig Whitehead will step down from his role as WA Symphony Orchestra chief executive in November after 10 years in the position.

Mr Whitehead announced he would resign to return home to Brisbane, where he has been appointed chief executive of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Prior to his current role, he was chief executive of WA Opera and general manager of the Brisbane-based La Boite Theatre Company.

Mr Whitehead said the decision to leave the organisation was extremely difficult and his time at WASO was the most enjoyable of his career.

“It has been a great privilege to lead WASO and to be inspired every day by the artistry of the world-class WASO musicians, and the exceptional dedication of the staff and board who make up this wonderful company,” he said.

“I am immensely proud of all that we have achieved together and I believe that the future is very bright under the leadership of Richard Goyder and the WASO board.”

WASO is the fourth largest arts and cultural organisation in WA by revenue, with a turnover of $19.7 million last financial year, according to BNIQ Search Engine data.

It achieved a surplus during every year of Mr Whitehead’s tenure, finishing $956,000 in the black in 2017.

WASO chairman Richard Goyder said Mr Whitehead had made an outstanding contribution to the organisation.

“During Craig’s time as executive leader of WASO he has overseen the appointment of a new principal conductor and guided the organisation through a particularly challenging operating environment,” he said.

“The orchestra he leaves is much admired both for its artistic excellence and its commitment to delivering music broadly in the Western Australian community.”

Mr Goyder said the board would conduct a search domestically and internationally for his replacement.