Troubled Sony Centre names new board, interim CEO
Mark Hammond takes over troubled city-owned theatre
The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts — a city-owned theatre hit by a recent spending scandal — has a new interim chief executive officer.
Taking over is Mark Hammond, who will be promoted from the position of programming director, a post he has held for 12 years. He officially takes over on July 1.
In April, the city's auditor general identified in a report improper expenses filed by current CEO Dan Brambilla, including travel and meals for his wife.
Auditor General Jeff Griffiths also said that Brambilla’s own company charged more than $500,000 to the Sony Centre, which is also under the microscope for cost over-runs connected to its ongoing renovations.
The renovation project was supposed to cost $28 million, but has so far cost around $40 million. It’s estimated that another $4 million is needed to complete the work. Most of the remaining funds needed are expected to come from the city.
Brambilla is expected to leave when his contract expires at the end of this month.
In a statement, Coun. Gary Crawford, a member of the Sony Centre's new board, had praise for Hammond.
"Mark is an experienced and well-respected executive in the performing arts world and he has the full support of the city and the board. Sony Centre staff and city staff are fully committed to fulfilling the promise of one of Toronto's most important theatre jewels," he said.
The citizen members of the Sony Centre's board resigned earlier this month and council has now struck a new board .
In addition to Crawford, the new board will include the following four councillors:
- Shelley Carroll.
- Frank Di Giorgio.
- Paula Fletcher.
- Pam McConnell.
Council also named three senior city staff members from the city to the board:
- City Manager Joe Pennachetti
- Deputy city manager Brenda Patterson.
- Deputy city manager/chief financial officer Rob Rossini.