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Tuesday, 15 February, 2000, 22:05 GMT
Dome ops director quits

Dome interior The Dome needs to improve attendances quickly


A top executive at the Millennium Dome has resigned after his job was written out of existence.

Ken Robinson, operations director at the 758m attraction, left in the wake of organisational streamlining at the New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) introduced by new boss Pierre-Yves Gerbeau.

His resignation follows the departure of Dome chief executive Jennie Page.

Mr Gerbeau, the former Disneyland Paris chief who was brought in to improve attendances at the Dome, has decided that all senior managers will now report direct to him.

Mr Robinson, who joined the company in 1997, was in charge of the day-to-day running of the Greenwich site and had a staff of several hundred, including managers of each themed zones.

NMEC said Mr Robinson's position had been lost as a result of a "restructuring of key management responsibilities" by Mr Gerbeau.

'Agreed to resign'

The company said: "The new structure will see the operations department divided and departmental managers will report directly to Mr Gerbeau.

"NMEC and Mr Robinson agreed that in the new structure the role of operations director will no longer exist and accordingly Mr Robinson has agreed to resign."


Mr Gerbeau Pierre-Yves Gerbeau has reshuffled his pack
The former executive will receive a six-figure compensation package, comprising six months' salary, pension and "golden handshake".

Shadow culture, media and sport secretary Peter Ainsworth claimed Mr Robinson's departure was further evidence that 46 days after its opening the Dome was still "in deep trouble".

"What's more, I suspect the night of the long knives is not yet over," he added.

Mr Gerbeau, who replaced chief executive Jennie Page 10 days ago, has acted quickly to streamline the management structure at the Dome in a bid to make the operation slicker and more cohesive.

Last month's attendance figures were poorer than expected and critics said if they did not pick up significantly NMEC would face financial difficulties and be forced to call on the government for a hand-out.

Ms Page, 55, resigned shortly after and Mr Gerbeau - known by Dome staff as P-Y - was "parachuted" in to replace her.

Critics have lambasted the Dome for being "all glitter and no substance" but several surveys have found that the vast majority of visitors were satisfied and many would recommend the attraction to friends and relatives.

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See also:
07 Feb 00 |  UK
New Dome chief outlines vision
05 Feb 00 |  UK
Profile: New blood at the Dome
07 Feb 00 |  UK
Gerbeau: Genius or journeyman?
07 Feb 00 |  UK
Turning around the Dome
06 Feb 00 |  UK
Sponsors 'called for Dome resignation'
01 Feb 00 |  UK
Testing time at the Dome
02 Feb 00 |  UK
Visitors hail Dome service

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