Cindy Brinkley, the orchestra's board chairman, said in a statement, "Over the past six years Randy's accomplishments are monumental. He not only has transformed this organization financially, but he has created a working model that is being emulated throughout the symphony world."
Adams's accomplishments include leading the SLSO from near-bankruptcy in 2001, when the orchestra's endowment had plummeted to $18 million, to a financially stable organization with an endowment that now stands at $134 million. He has spearheaded more than $160 million in total support for the SLSO in the past six years.
Music director David Robertson, whose contract Adams recently extended to 2010, commented, "As much as I understand [his] decision, I regret it because I had looked forward to many more years of working with this major force for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra."
The Saint Louis Business Journal quotes Adams as saying, "This is probably the most challenging management job I've had in my 30-year career." He called the job a "balancing act between artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility."
In a statement, Adams said that he has been considering stepping down for some time, but that it "was difficult, because I have the utmost affection for the people in this organization. After six years I think the time has come to leave the 'stage' on a high note. Although we have accomplished some remarkable achievements, I feel challenges do remain in the next several years. I also think it's best for the organization to have a person who can commit to the next five or six years."
The 62-year-old Adams was originally hired as a consultant for the SLSO in February 2001 and was named executive director in August 2001. Adams came to the job with more than 30 years of business experience as a management consultant and a commercial banker. Shortly after his hiring he cut the organization's budget from $27 million to $21 million and made additional cost-cutting moves to put the organization on the road to recovery.