George Osborne missed a position as chairman of the Royal Opera House after a nomination committee elected the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse instead.
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer was beaten by UK-based entrepreneur David Ross, 55, after being shortlisted for the top spot earlier this year.
The appointment comes just months after the iconic Covent Garden art venue in London announced it was facing increasing ‘financial pressure’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Insiders told The Sunday Times that Mr. Ross, who will succeed the late Ian Taylor, was chosen for the prestigious role because of his track record in bringing in money from high net worth individuals.
George Osborne missed a position as chairman of the Royal Opera House after a nomination committee selected the co-founder of Carphone Warehouse
Entrepreneur David Ross, 55, is best known for co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse Group in 1991
The businessman and art philanthropist, best known for co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse Group in 1991, is also the chairman of the board of the National Portrait Gallery.
He started his career at his grandfather Carl Ross’s frozen fish company, Ross Group, before making his way into the world of cell phones.
In 2006 he founded the David Ross Foundation and was able to develop educational initiatives and support organizations to help young people.
Mr Ross, who trained at Uppingham School before graduating with a law degree from the University of Nottingham, also founded the award-winning Nevill Holt Opera Theater in Leicestershire in 2013.
Designed by the architects of the Stirling Prize-winning Witherford Watson Mann, the theater was finally opened to the public in 2018.
Meanwhile, Mr. Osborne, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2010 to 2016, started his career with the family-owned Osborne & Little company before entering politics.
He then worked as political secretary to the leader of the opposition before being elected to parliament as the youngest Conservative Member of Parliament in the House of Commons.
In 2005, at the age of 33, he was appointed to the position of shadow chancellor before his successful execution David Cameron’s campaign to become the leader of the Conservative Party.
According to The Sunday Times, former civil servant Lady Suzanne Heywood was also in the running for the position.
Earlier this year, it was announced that the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London was facing increasing ‘financial pressure’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The iconic art venue is known both for its excellent performances of traditional opera. Pictured: A view from the stage of the Royal Opera House
On his new appointment in July, Mr Ross said: ‘I am thrilled to create opportunities for all and ensure that everyone can enjoy our great cultural institutions, artists and musicians.
So I am honored to be appointed to lead the Board of Trustees at an institution as highly regarded as the Royal Opera House and I will continue the fantastic success of my predecessors.
‘I particularly want to focus on building on the great education programs that have been put in place to bring art to children across the country.
‘The Open Up project has laid a wonderful foundation for the future and I look forward to continuing this great work and maintaining the Royal Opera House’s position at the heart of British cultural life as we set a course because of the undisputed challenges that lie ahead. ‘
Alex Beard Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said: “David Ross is a passionate supporter of the arts and has seen significant changes during his time as President at the National Portrait Gallery.
David’s commitment to education is particularly notable, and we welcome his insight into times of change for ROH and indeed for society as a whole.
“I really look forward to working closely with David as he leads the Board of Directors at this crucial moment and I am very grateful to Suzanne for all her help, support and leadership, especially during the last very challenging months.”
Earlier this year, the Royal Opera House announced it had laid off a whole roster of casual employees in an effort to keep their heads above water amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Told CEO Alex Beard The stage: ‘The Royal Opera House has started to restructure its staff teams.
“The magnitude of the financial pressure on the ROH, in addition to the ongoing limitations on our ability to perform in front of a live audience, has led to this very difficult and sad decision.”