Sir Howard Panter, Joint Chief Executive Officer and Creative Director, and Rosemary Squire OBE, Joint Chief Executive Officer, of the Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), announce today that they are moving from their joint Chief Executive Officer roles to take on different roles in ATG as well as moving into a new creative phase in their careers in theatre.
Their decision means that in future they will focus more on theatre production and although they will stay involved in ATG, they are also acquiring the Trafalgar Studios Theatre in London’s West End from ATG where they will evolve a distinctive artistic direction for the theatre.
Sir Howard will continue as Executive Producer on some existing and future ATG projects. He will remain Chairman and Producer of The Rocky Horror Show worldwide and ATG will continue to partner and invest with Sir Howard in his future productions.
Rosemary will take on the role of Deputy Chairman of the ATG Group and will remain Chairman of Sonia Friedman Productions. Both Sir Howard and Rosemary will continue as directors of ATG, and remain shareholders in ATG.
ATG, which was founded in 1992 by Sir Howard and Rosemary, has grown from its initial roots in Woking and London’s West End to the world’s number one live theatre company with 45 venues across Britain, the United States and Australia. Through Sir Howard and Rosemary’s creativity, leadership and energy the business has become a global leader. They have topped The Stage 100 Power List for a record seven years running, Sir Howard was knighted for services to theatre in 2013 and in 2014 Rosemary was the first woman ever to win the UK EY Entrepreneur of the Year.
Sir Howard and Rosemary said:
“We are proud of the many achievements, loyalty and superb work of all our colleagues at ATG. ATG is in great shape as a company and poised for additional exciting growth. It is a good time for us to start new creative roles. We have thought long and hard before taking this decision but feel it is a time in our lives for an exciting new challenge. We will continue to take a role in ATG while looking forward to devoting more time to our passion for creating great theatrical content and a vibrant London theatre.
Greg Dyke, Chairman of ATG said: “ATG is a great British success story. Howard and Rosemary have done a brilliant job over 25 years in building ATG from one theatre into the biggest live theatre company in the world. ATG has become an amazingly successful business and it has been a remarkable achievement and will always be seen as such. They are changing roles from day to day management and administration of a large company employing more than 3,500 people to concentrate on their first love – the creation of great theatrical works.”
Mark Cornell will succeed Rosemary Squire and Sir Howard Panter as Group Chief Executive Officer. He was previously Managing Director of Sotheby’s Europe, and prior to that, spent 10 years at LVMH, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of Moet Hennessy USA and Chief Executive Officer of Krug Champagne. He brings a wealth of experience in managing large organisations, including successfully leading consumer-orientated brands in the UK, Europe and the United States. Mark’s experience will be invaluable in delivering ATG’s vision of creating the world’s leading theatre company, which combines a global network of best-in-class venues, advanced ticketing services and access to exciting and original theatre and musical content.
The Board is also delighted to announce that Adam Kenwright will join ATG as Executive Vice President. Adam is the co-founder of AKA, the world’s leading marketing and communications services provider to the international theatre industry.
Mark and Adam’s combined experience will be a strong complement to ATG’s extremely talented group of senior managers including Michael Lynas, Managing Director of Content, and Nick Potter, Managing Director of Venues, who have vast experience in the theatre industry. Together, the senior leadership team will be focused on creating the best end–to-end experience for customers who visit one of ATG’s venues.
Mark Cornell commented:
“I feel privileged to be joining the talented and dedicated team that has built this world leading business with significant potential for further growth. Sir Howard and Rosemary have provided truly inspirational leadership to so many at ATG over a long period of time. I look forward to their continued involvement. I am excited by the prospect of helping to shape and lead the next chapter in the life of this remarkable company.
“Whilst staying true to its cultural heart, ATG will focus on delivering exceptional experiences for audiences in its leading venues around the world, through innovative and strategic partnerships with the industry’s greatest producers and creative talent.”
Providence Equity Partners, which acquired a majority share of ATG in November 2013, has overseen an investment programme of over £130 million in ATG and its assets. With ongoing support from Providence, ATG plans to continue to expand its global network of high quality theatres and related services.