Anna Williams to step down as Chief Operating Officer of Birmingham Royal Ballet after 29 years
Birmingham Royal Ballet has announced that current Chief Operating Officer Anna Williams is to step down and two new roles created to cover her extensive range of responsibilities. Anna Williams has been COO of Birmingham Royal Ballet for nearly 30 years and will remain in post until late summer 2023.
Williams said: ‘It has been an absolute privilege and an exceptional experience to have worked within the Birmingham Royal Ballet team, first as Finance Director, and then as Chief Operating Officer, for almost 30 years now. Looking back, it’s nothing short of thrilling to see how far we’ve grown, and flourished into the thriving and distinctive company and charity of today. I’m proud to have helped the company navigate its way, through independence from the Royal Opera House, then through a changing and demanding funding landscape, and latterly through the covid pandemic. It feels like the time is now right for me to find a fresh challenge and new adventures. As I prepare to leave the company, I feel confident about its future, its ambitions, and its plans to bring ballet to ever bigger audiences in its home city, in the UK, and across the world. I wish you all well.’
Caroline Miller, CEO of Birmingham Royal Ballet said, “Anna Williams has been central to Birmingham Royal Ballet’s success for over 20 years. Her knowledge and experience of running a large-scale touring ballet company is unsurpassed. She joined the company with the task of legally separating Birmingham Royal Ballet from the Royal Opera House and the distinction between the two companies has become our bedrock. Since then, she has done so much for BRB, always with huge dedication, always working so hard behind the scenes.”
Director of Birmingham Royal Ballet, Carlos Acosta said, “I am so grateful to Anna for all her support since I started at BRB in 2020. I am particularly grateful to her for enabling BRB to be the first company to present a new fully staged work to live audiences in the pandemic, and to commission a £1 million production of Don Quixote at the height of lockdown. I cannot thank her enough for all she has done for BRB and for me personally, and I, and all the team at BRB, wish her the best for her future career.”
Williams FCA DChA – graduated from Durham University in 1988, with a joint-honours degree in Philosophy and Psychology, and has worked in the performing arts and charitable sector since 1994 after training and qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers and Lybrand. Anna joined the Royal Opera House in 1994 to work on Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘disaggregation’ to become an independent company and charity in 1997. She remained with BRB as Finance Director and then Chief Operating Officer from 2016. Much of her work has focused on change and transformation to ensure long-term organisational resilience and sustainability whilst supporting artistic risk and investment.
Alongside her work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, Anna has a particular interest in the importance and challenges of governance and in the not-for-profit sector. She is a director of The Young Vic and was vice-president of UK Theatre for six years until 2019. She was one of the founding directors of Culture Central, a collective voice and development agency for culture and the creative industries in Birmingham and the wider region. Anna is a passionate advocate for the value and contribution of the arts and creativity to individuals, communities and cities and the importance of a successful and vibrant arts economy.
Christopher Rodriguez has been appointed as Director of Finance and Resources. Rodriguez is a Fellow of the Association of Certified and Chartered Accountants. He is currently Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director of One Dance UK, the industry support for dance. Rodriguez starts his new role in late June and said of his appointment:
“I am delighted to join the Birmingham Royal Ballet family. It is a company with a history of excellence and I look forward to leaning into its dynamic vision now and into the future. I’m standing on the shoulders of giants, and am truly excited to work with the team, participants and supporters.”
Christopher Rodriguez led the financial merger of four companies to become One Dance UK and developed an integrated accounting and reporting system for a dynamic company. Christopher received training in Theory of Change and, with staff colleagues, reset the company’s goals and mission to streamline activities to primarily meet beneficiaries’ needs and experience.
BRB will be recruiting for a second role to cover the production side of Anna’s remit in due course.
Visit https://www.brb.org.uk/ to learn more.