The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced in April that it faced a $10 million deficit and would begin to scale back costs. That process began on Friday as three high-level employees, including the museum's first chief digital officer, Sree Sreenivasan, stepped down from their posts.
Cynthia Round, the museum's senior vice president for marketing and external relations, and Susan Sellers, head of design, also resigned. The pair had worked on the museum's recent rebranding campaign.
Daniel H. Weiss, the Met's president, said the museum's goal was to bring the budget into balance within 24 months. "We're looking at ways of streamlining our operation," Mr. Weiss said. "Everythi ng we are doing, we will continue to do. But we'll do it probably a little bit slower."
The museum's retail revenue has decreased and debts are still being paid off from infrastructure work. The three departures precede what is expected to be a series of voluntary buyouts, which the museum has said it hopes will allow it to avoid layoffs. The Met has also set a hiring freeze and halted some renovation projects. "To the degree we have to turn to involuntary staff reductions, we will do that after we have a better sense of how we're doing," Mr. Weiss said.
The Met's exhibition schedule is locked in for the next couple of years, but Mr. Weiss said he could not rule out the possibility of reducing the number of exhibitions at a later point.
Mr. Sreenivasan has been with the company for three years and led the Met's recent website redesign and the development of a smartphone app. He will stay on temporarily as a consultant, and the Met's digital team will specifically focus on digitizing its collection for a global audience. "The only way for the Met to succeed in the future is to continue to build the connection between the physical and the digital," Mr. Sreenivasan said. "If we don't do that, there will be an issue. But for now, there are ways to do it at the right pace, with the right resources."Continue reading the main story
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