Janet Rollé Is the First Black CEO of the American Ballet Theatre

Janet Rollé (Photo: Larry Busacca)

Janet Rollé, general manager of Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, was named the executive director and CEO of the American Ballet Theatre, the New York Times reports. She will be the first person of color to lead the institution.

In a statement, Rollé pledged to “preserve and extend the legacy of American Ballet Theater, and to ensure its future prosperity, cultural impact and relevance.”

Since immigrating to America from Jamaica, Rollé has cultivated a passion for dance after taking her first class at 8-years old.

“When my dear mom, an immigrant from Jamaica, took me to my first dance class at the age of eight at the YMCA in Mount Vernon, New York, she set me on the path that would provide the foundation of my career,” she recalled. “Through dance, I learned how to be a professional, the value of discipline and technique, and my love for the creative process,”

“To come full circle and be in a position to give back to the art that has given me so much is a source of unbridled and immense joy,” she continued.

Andrew Barth, chairman of Ballet Theater’s board, noted Rollé’s extensive experience would be a tremendous asset in her new position. 

“Her extensive experience as a business leader and marketing strategist, combined with her life-long passion for dance, perfectly positions her to lead our organization,” Barth said. “She is brimming with ideas to lead A.B.T. into the next decade, all while respecting Ballet Theater’s history and legacy.”

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Before leading Parkwood Entertainment, Rollé has held several senior-level positions in the media industry. She was executive vice president and chief marketing officer of CNN Worldwide, the first executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Black Entertainment Television, and had roles at HBO, MTV, and AOL. Also, she was a presidential appointee and member of the nominating committee of the United States Tennis Association.

A graduate of the State University of New York at Purchase, New York and Columbia University Graduate School of Business, Rollé currently, serves on the board of BuzzFeed and Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Rollé begins her new post on January 3, 2022.

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