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Leadership differences prompt Royal Exchange executive director to step down

Mark Dobson has been appointed as executive director of Manchester Royal Exchange. Photo: Colin Davison Mark Dobson has resigned as executive director of Manchester Royal Exchange. Photo: Colin Davison
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Mark Dobson is to step down as executive director of the Royal Exchange in Manchester after less than two years, blaming differences within the leadership team for the move.

Dobson, who took up the position in July 2016, is leaving to pursue other interests, with Dobson admitting that he and artistic director Sarah Frankcom are “not the right partnership for the next phase of the Royal Exchange’s development”.

Dobson, who leaves at the end of June, said: “It has been a great privilege to work at the Royal Exchange Theatre alongside Sarah Frankcom. The alchemy between an artistic and executive director is all important and despite many achievements, Sarah and I both feel that we are not the right partnership for the next phase of the Royal Exchange’s development and this is the right moment for me to pursue other interests.”

“The Royal Exchange is one of the greatest theatres in the world and at the heart of one of the great city-regions and I am very proud to have played a part in its journey,” he added.

Frankcom said she had “a huge amount of respect for Mark’s tenacity and business acumen” and added that she had “welcomed working with him on modelling a very exciting future for the theatre”.

The theatre credited Dobson with securing funding from Arts Council England and future funding from Greater Manchester Combined Authority together worth close to £10 million under his tenure.

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