Alex Beard

Chief Executive, Royal Opera House


Alex Beard CBE is Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House. He was appointed in March 2013, taking up the role in September that year. As CEO he has led a transformation of public facilities and daytime activities, the extension of its digital reach through online streaming and cinema, the creation of a National Learning programme, and has steered the organisation through the COVID pandemic, the largest financial crisis in its history. The Royal Opera House is the UK’s largest performing arts organisation and home to The Royal Ballet, The Royal Opera and the Orchestra of The Royal Opera House, three of the world’s leading artistic companies.

Alex was educated at Manchester Grammar School, Westminster School and King’s College London. He worked for a year at KPMG before joining the Arts Council in 1986. In 1995 he became Director of Finance and Administration of Tate, becoming Director of Business there in 1999 and Deputy Director in 2002. He played a leading role in the creation of Tate Modern, major extensions of Tate Britain, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives, while also leading the business operations of the Tate galleries. At the end of 2012 he was appointed a CBE for his services to the arts.

Alex is Chair of High House Production Park Ltd, a cluster of creative enterprises located in Purfleet Essex. His other Boards have included Glyndebourne Productions Ltd from 2008-2013, 14-18 NOW, the First World War Cultural Programme, from 2013-2019 and the DCMS Philanthropy Board, RMN Grand Palais Conseil d’Orientation Stratégique, Esmee Fairburn Foundation Finance Panel and Global Giving UK of which he was the founding chair. He is a keen cyclist, cricketer and cook.