Thomas Campbell, the director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, resigned after eight years Tuesday "to pursue the next phase of my career," according to a statement. In reality, he appears to have been "forced out," reports the New York Times. With the museum in financial trouble—it recorded a $8.3 million deficit in the 2016 fiscal year, though officials had previously said a $40 million deficit was possible, per the Art Newspaper—Campbell has faced increasing pressure from staffers and trustees over his economic decisions. That pressure became insurmountable when board members, including the head of the Met's finance committee, demanded he leave his post in recent days, the Times reports.
After coming into the role in January 2009, Campbell hired new digital staff and opened what is now the Met Breuer, which costs $17 million per year to operate, with approval from the board. But there were later buyouts and layoffs and Campbell was forced to abandon his plan to build a $600 million wing for modern and contemporary art-—despite record attendance at the largest museum in the US. However, the Met's chairman says Campbell has led the museum "in precisely the right direction." Campbell will stay on until June, but Daniel Weiss, the museum’s president and chief operating officer, will immediately become interim chief executive. Weiss may also become Campbell's permanent replacement, a trustee tells the Times. (Read more Metropolitan Museum of Art stories.)