Bill Johnson, executive director of the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, announced that he would be leaving the organization.
Johnson, who has been executive director for the past three years, said the Greenville Symphony board is developing a five-year plan and he felt it was an appropriate time to pass the reins to a new leader.
“I think it’s important that the same person implement the plan, from beginning to end, and I was not prepared to commit to another five years,” Johnson said.
Johnson will continue to serve with the Greenville Symphony until a new executive director is hired but will step down no later than Aug. 31.
“He leaves the organization in a very sound financial position, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” said Flavia Harton, president of the Greenville Symphony board.
The executive director handles the symphony’s administrative operations while the music director, Edvard Tchvizhel, is in charge of artistic responsibilities.
At a time when many symphony orchestras are failing or faltering, Johnson said he was particularly pleased with the Greenville Symphony’s strong financial health.
“I’m happy to say that we’ve had the highest tickets sales in the history of the symphony,” Johnson said. “We are expected to end this year in the black again. I feel really good that I’ll be leaving the symphony in sound financial condition.”
The Greenville Symphony is finishing its 66th season.
Johnson said he was proud also of the orchestra’s numerous educational initiatives.
Johnson said he isn’t retiring but will seek other opportunities, probably on a part-time basis. Johnson worked as a consultant in finance before coming to the Greenville Symphony. He spent the majority of his career with W.R. Grace and Company, a chemical conglomerate that once owned Cryovac.
Bob Nachman, who will serve as board president next season, said a search committee is being created to appoint a new executive director as soon as possible.
Nachman also praised Johnson for his financial acumen.
“He certainly should be recognized for the financial stability and skills he’s brought to the table,” Nachman said. “He’s really managed the finances well.”