Metropolitan Museum Sheds Three Senior Staffers in Fallout from Financial Pinch

The museum aims to address a $10-million deficit.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Great Hall. Photo Timothy Neesam, via Flickr.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Great Hall. Photo Timothy Neesam, via Flickr.

Three high-level staffers at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are leaving the institution amid ongoing financial troubles, reports the New York Times. The museum revealed in April that it faced a $10-million deficit, and that it would institute a hiring freeze and a round of voluntary buyouts—even layoffs, if necessary.

Sree Sreenivasan, the museum’s first chief digital officer, leaves almost exactly three years after his hiring. Cynthia Round, senior vice president for marketing and external relations, and Susan Sellers, head of design since that same month, are also leaving. Round and Sellers both also started in summer 2013 and were part of the team responsible for the museum’s new—and unloved—graphic identity.

Sreenivasan posted a letter to museum staff from director Thomas Campbell and president Daniel Weiss on Facebook.

Sree Sreenivasan. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Digitas.

Sree Sreenivasan. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Digitas.

Sreenivasan oversaw the development of a museum app; a video project in which artists discuss inspiring works from the collection; and updates to the museum’s website, among other initiatives. He departs June 30, and will serve as a consultant for six months, according to Campbell’s letter. Loic Tallon, deputy digital chief, will serve as interim chief digital officer.

Round will also consult with the museum through the end of 2016.

The museum aims to balance the budget within two years. “We’re looking at ways of streamlining our operation,” Weiss tells the Times. “Everything we are doing, we will continue to do. But we’ll do it probably a little bit slower.”

The museum had announced in January that it would undertake an extensive renovation to its modern and contemporary wing; that project has been paused.


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