Bethel Woods CEO Resigns

Although Bethel Woods Center for the Arts CEO Peter Lane is departing his post following reported differences of opinion with the chairman of the nonprofit foundation that oversees the venue, the center has announced it has no current plans to recruit a new CEO.

Lane’s move signals the third time a CEO has left the post at the 15,000-capacity Bethel Woods since the venue opened.

Cablevision founder Alan Gerry spearheaded the development through his nonprofit Gerry Foundation. He began purchasing land around the site of the legendary 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, N.Y., in the late ’90s and, in 2006, opened the center as a 15,000-capacity outdoor pavilion.

Bethel Woods has since grown to include a museum, an additional 700-capacity outdoor terrace stage and 375-capacity events gallery. And it appears that with the growth has come a competing vision for the center itself.

Lane, who was previously CEO of the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, was named CEO of Bethel Woods in August 2007. However, even at the time of the appointment, Lane and Gerry appeared to have differing plans for the venue, the local Times Herald-Record reported.

While Gerry apparently focused on building his foundation, Lane was focused on growing the venue’s facilities, the paper said.

"Mr. Lane was asked to work on transitioning Bethel Woods Center for the Arts away from the Gerry Foundation, and as a result would need to put aside focus on day to day activities," the venue said in a statement. "Mr. Lane determined that his interests and talents would not be best utilized in this capacity, and therefore both parties have agreed to separate.

"Bethel Woods’ strong leadership team, headed by the Chairman and internal board of directors will continue to manage day to day operations."