Caroline Thomson Appointed Executive Director of English National Ballet

October 2, 2013

Press Releases

Caroline Thomson Appointed Executive Director of English National Ballet


  • Farooq Chaudhry to join as Producer

Caroline Thomson has been appointed Executive Director of English National Ballet.  Caroline, who has been acting as interim Executive Director since May, takes on her new responsibilities with immediate effect.


Speaking of her new role, Caroline said: “Under the Artistic Direction of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has started an exciting journey of transformation and I am delighted to be able to play a part in leading it to success.”


Caroline Thomson, a former journalist and programme maker, has held a series of senior roles in broadcasting. She was Deputy Director-General of the BBC until September 2012.

Justin Bickle, Chair of English National Ballet’s Board, welcomed her appointment: “I am delighted that Caroline has agreed to join English National Ballet in a permanent capacity.  She has had a long and distinguished career running creative organisations and will bring a wealth of experience to the role of Executive Director.  I know that she will prove to be an inspiring leader.”


Caroline’s first act in her new role was to announce that Farooq Chaudhry, co-founder and producer of Akram Khan Dance Company, will be joining English National Ballet as Producer. In this new role Farooq will support the creative vision of Artistic Director Tamara Rojo and the Company and will develop the commercial potential of the Company’s productions both in the UK and overseas.


Farooq, who joins immediately, said: “English National Ballet has an energy and vision which excites me and reminds me of how Akram Khan and I started out.  It offers me an opportunity to flex my producer muscles in new and different ways. When Tamara Rojo tells me with utmost conviction she wants to change the way ballet companies are run, I believe her.  She is a visionary who sees things others don’t and I am thrilled by the challenge of working with this remarkable woman and her team and helping to make English National Ballet a ballet company for today and the future.”


Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director, said: “This is excellent news.  In Caroline we welcome a leader of the highest credentials, in Farooq one of the most creative figures in the world of arts management.”


Caroline Thomson, Executive Director

Born in London, UK she graduated from York with a degree in History and Economics. Caroline who joined the a BBC as trainee journalist, went on to become Chief Operating Officer / Deputy Director General of the BBC (responsible for all non-programme parts across the entire organisation except Finance, operating budgets in excess of £800m). She also worked at Channel 4 (where she was in charge of science/business programmes and latterly as Head of Corporate Affairs)


She is currently Chair of Digital UK (responsible for digital terrestrial television); Non-executive Director of CN Media Group; Deputy Chair of the National Gallery and a trustee of Tullie House Gallery, Cumbria


Caroline Thomson was formerly a member of English National Ballet’s Board from which she steps down immediately.


Farooq Chaudhry, Producer

Farooq Chaudhry, co-founder and producer of Akram Khan Dance Company, plays a key role in forming innovative business models to support Akram Khan’s artistic ambitions as well as offering creative support during the development of Khan’s projects. He is a ‘project champion’ for Arts Council England’s Cultural Leadership programme, Chair of Dance UK’s Board and a member of the Strategic Advisory Committee for Clore Leadership Programme. He is a regular speaker in arts management and cultural entrepreneurship courses. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs acknowledged him in a list of the world’s top hundred cultural actors and entrepreneurs in 2008.


Farooq Chaudhry will continue to work with Akram Khan but sees his new role with English National Ballet as an opportunity to take on new challenges in a different context.


English National Ballet brings world-class classical ballet to the widest possible audience – delighting them with the traditional and inspiring them with the new. We aspire to be the most exciting and creative ballet company in the UK. We perform ballet anywhere.

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