Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CEO to Go

Confirmation has come of the rumoured departure of Simon Perry from the Irish Film Board at the end of this year. It coincides with the end of his five-year contract as CEO (and 'Editor-in-Chief') which began in January 2006.

While speculation has already turned to the matter of who might replace him, the bigger question is - will he be replaced?

The ban on recruitment in the public service has already stalled the appointment of John Kelleher's replacement as Director of the Irish Film Classification Office. That has resulted in the Deputy Director becoming Acting Director of that agency which, incidentally, makes a profit for the State.

If the Minister for Finance does not allow the IFB to make the appointment then, presumably, the Deputy CEO will become Acting CEO and perhaps the production executives will be given greater editorial responsibility. Alternatively, Perry might be retained pro tem as an editorial/commissioning consultant.

Given the fraught circumstances last year (when the future of the agency was put in doubt by the cost-cutting recommendations made to the government) there should be some effort made to ensure that the imminent departure of the CEO does not tempt the government to re-examine that proposal.

Maybe this speculation is unwarranted. Perhaps the minister will sanction an internal appointment. Perhaps the Board will be able to advertise the position in a matter of weeks, as it has indicated. But, who wants the job?

Someone call Lenny Crooks and see if he's interested.

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