Ted DeDee, La Jolla Music Society’s third CEO in two years, resigns

Ted DeDee has resigned as president/CEO of the La Jolla Music Society nine months after coming aboard.

Only nine months after assuming the role of president/CEO of La Jolla Music Society (LJMS), Ted DeDee announced that his tenure will conclude at the end of the first season of The Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center. His final day will be June 30, 2020.

In a press release posted on the LJMS website Jan. 3, DeDee attributed the move to “various health concerns.” He did not disclose his medican problem but, in an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune, said that it was discovered and diagnosed only recently, after he moved to San Diego, and that he would not have assumed his duties here had his condition been previously known.

The release quoted LJMS board chair Steve Baum as stating that DeDee “has put together a thoughtful transition that will allow us ample time to do a search for a new President/CEO.”

The LJMS has had unstable leadership since January 2018, when president and artistic director Kristin Lancino resigned barely two years after coming on board. Her replacement, Florida Grand Opera executive director Susan T. Danis, was announced in July 2018, but Danis never served a day in the position. (In September 2018, LJMS announced Danis would instead return to her former position following a mysteriously unclarified episode in which it claimed a disgruntled former employee of the Florida Grand Opera falsely defamed her.)

The appointment of DeDee — the retired president and CEO of Madison, Wisconsin’s Overture Center for the Arts — was announced only five weeks before The Conrad’s April 5, 2019 opening night, and DeDee started only four days before. Succeeding interim president David Kitto, DeDee reportedly signed a three-year contract for an undisclosed amount with options to renew.

Just five hours before the LJMS release was posted, DeDee spoke to the Light by phone, discussing his vision for LJMS in 2020.

“We’re in the midst of working on our organizational strategic plan,” he said. “We’re having a retreat in January and, hopefully, by the end of May, with board concurrence, we’ll have a new strategic plan for the organization, which will cover us for the next three to five years.”

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