L.A. Phil promotes executives, names substitute CEO for fall

L.A. Phil promotes executives, names substitute CEO for fall
Gail Samuel has been promoted to the position of executive director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. (Craig T. Mathew / Mathew Imaging)

The Los Angeles Philharmonic on Wednesday promoted Gail Samuel to the position of executive director and said she will serve as acting president and chief executive while current president and CEO Deborah Borda is on sabbatical in the fall.

Samuel had been chief operating officer. Chad Smith, formerly vice president of artistic planning, will take her place as COO, Borda and music director Gustavo Dudamel said in the morning announcement.


In her expanded role, Samuel will add marketing and human resources to the areas she already manages. She will continue to oversee operations at the Hollywood Bowl, including jazz, world music, orchestral pops and pop-rock programming, as well as public relations and community affairs.

In September, she will fill in for Borda, who will take a four-month sabbatical to assume a residency at the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

Smith will continue to oversee artistic planning and education while also supervising the orchestra, operations, concert production, recorded media and centennial celebration planning.

The L.A. Phil's centennial is the right time to examine the Phil's administrative talents and deploy them even more effectively, Borda said in the announcement.

"It gives me great pleasure to recognize two of the brightest stars in the orchestra field today," she said. "Both Gail Samuel and Chad Smith have demonstrated track records of significant achievement and creativity."

Added Samuel: "As a native Angeleno, I couldn't be prouder of the work being done by this organization and am thrilled to be a part of it."

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