Michael Lynch has resigned as chief executive of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, citing family and health reasons, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who chairs the authority, said.
Lam told media in a briefing Tuesday she was informed on Feb. 4 about Lynch’s request for early retirement.
Lynch will serve out his six-month notice period, which ends Aug. 3.
Lam said Lynch’s departure is a loss to the authority.
It respects his decision and will immediately begin a global search to fill the vacancy, she said.
Lynch said he loves doing the job but has to resign for health reasons. He has had to walk with a stick after he suffered a stroke in the past.
“I’m 64 and I’m old … it’s time now for me to move on,” Lynch said.
“I’ve also had a pretty tough year, as my wife is seriously ill. It’s the right time for me to spend more time with my family, supporting my wife and being able to be the right sort of husband.”
Lynch, who joined the authority in July 2011, worked previously as chief executive of the Sydney Theatre and the South Bank Centre in London.
In July last year, Lynch renewed his term at the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority but said he would not seek another term once the contract ended in mid-2016. He said at the time that he hoped his successor will be a Hongkonger.
Graham Sheffield, Lynch’s predecessor, resigned after being in office for only five months. He was then appointed an artistic director by the British Council.
Sheffield later said he resigned from the authority because he was seeking a new job.
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