Max Hollein, the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will add the title of chief executive, the museum’s board announced Wednesday, giving him full control of one of the world’s largest museums.
Hollein will assume this new role from the departure of Daniel H. Weiss, president and chief executive of the Met, who announced last month that he would step down in June 2023. (Weiss has been president of the Met since 2015 and president and chief executive since 2017.)
“Max has done a great job during his tenure,” Candace K. Beinecke, one of the museum’s two board chairs, said in a phone interview. “He inspired tremendous confidence as a future leader.”
This move brings the museum back to its unique management structure, which it has moved away from over the years. The Met’s current two-tier management structure, which is unusual for art museums, was put in place in 2017, after Thomas P. Campbell stepped down under pressure as director and chief executive.
Having directed other institutions before – most recently the fine arts museums of San Francisco – Hollein said he felt ready to expand his scope. “It’s a great honor, but also something that comes with great responsibility,” Hollein said.
When asked how his leadership might differ from Weiss’, Hollein said that while they had “different personalities,” he viewed it “as a continuation step.”
As for Weiss, the former president of Haverford College and art historian, he made it clear that at 65 and after leading the museum through a period of instability, he was ready for a new chapter.
“I would rather come out on top,” he said. “Better to go out when things are going well in a position of strength.”