Sally Greene loses 'chief executive' title in Old Vic reshuffle in wake of Kevin Spacey scandal

Anita Singh
Sally Greene said her new title would 'more appropriately reflect' her role at the theatre - Getty Images Europe

Sally Greene is to lose her title as chief executive of The Old Vic, under proposals put forward in the wake of the Kevin Spacey scandal.

Greene hired Spacey as artistic director of the London theatre in 2004, aware that his Hollywood star power would transform the company’s profile.

However, when 20 men came forward last year to claim they had been victims of Spacey’s “inappropriate behaviour” at The Old Vic, an internal investigation was critical of the “cult of personality” that had been allowed to form around him.

Greene pre-empted the report by releasing a statement distancing herself from Spacey and claiming that, despite being the chief executive, she was too busy to deal with “day-to-day management”. She said at the time that being chief executive was “one of a number of roles that I perform within my wider business portfolio”.

Kevin Spacey was artistic director of The Old Vic from 2004-15 Credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

Critics said Greene had failed to put a proper governance structure in place, allowing Spacey’s behaviour to go unscrutinised.

Yesterday, The Old Vic unveiled proposed changes to its governance that will see Greene remain a ‘founding trustee’ but lose her chief executive status. The chief executive role will be retired completely.

Greene said she and her fellow trustees propose to change her title to “one that more appropriately reflects the role that I play within the Old Vic”.

Stephen Daldry is also stepping down as a trustee after 20 years “to focus on his directing commitments”. He was appointed in 1998, the year that Greene set up a charitable trust to run the theatre.

The proposals, first published by The Stage, will be submitted to the Charity Commission for approval.

Allegations against Spacey began in October when actor Anthony Rapp claimed Spacey made a sexual advance towards him when he was 14 following a party at his apartment in 1986.

In response, Spacey offered an apology and said he has no memory of the incident. The Metropolitan Police are investigating an alleged sexual assault in London in 2008.

Neither Spacey or his legal team have commented further.

Greene's full statement reads: "Since I led the bid to save the theatre from closure, in 1998, I have been proud to hold the honorary title of Chief Executive of The Old Vic. As part of the governance review, my fellow Trustees and I propose to change my title to one that more appropriately reflects the role that I play within The Old Vic, to Founding Trustee.

"I look forward to continuing my work with the theatre to ensure that The Old Vic remains at the forefront of Britain’s world leading theatre community."

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