Ronald Perelman’s Bitter Departure Shocks Carnegie Hall Trustees

Ronald Perelman accused the hall’s executive and artistic director of a lack of transparency and said he was frustrated by the slow pace of investigating his concerns.

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Dave Tate’s initial comments: This story raises many issues, not only about events at Carnegie Hall, but also for nonprofits in general and how their boards and executive officers operate, and related processes. I will have more to say about these events in later blogs. I am also sure that people will significantly disagree about what occurred and how it was or should have been handled.

For example, I have already seen a discussion about whether Mr. Perelman should have simply announced his decision to not run for board chair re-election, and then say something to the effect that it was for personal or family or business reasons to spend time on other issues and things that were going on in his life. My thoughts on that issue: whereas the nonprofit undoubtedly would have preferred that the facts of this issue not become public, if asked why the decision to not run for re-election as chair of the board, would anyone expect Mr. Perelman or any other executive who is in the know at the nonprofit, to respond in a manner that misrepresents the situation or is dishonest? Might it be unlawful to communicate a response that misrepresents the situation or is dishonest – certainly it can be argued that such a response reflects on governance and tone-at-the-top.