Michael Greer, a former professional ballet dancer with a background in international business, has been named the new executive director of Portland Ballet.

Eugenia O’Brien, the ballet’s founder and executive and artistic director, has retired after 35 years.

The company’s productions have ranged from classics like “Giselle” and local traditions like “The Victorian Nutcracker” to contemporary choreography such as “Bolero” and “Spoke of the Wheel.”

Greer, a native of St. Charles, Missouri, graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and also studied at Joffrey Ballet School, School of American Ballet, and The Royal Ballet School in London, among others. He spent six seasons dancing professionally with Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah.

After retiring from dance, he got an economics degree from Hampshire College in Massachusetts and eventually worked for companies in India and China over a nine-year period, in management positions.

“The board chose Michael after conducting, quite literally, a worldwide search,” said Jim Shaffer, president of the ballet’s board. “His background as a dancer, his continuing passion for the art, and his practical business experience has prepared him well to sustain the legacy of one of the area’s premier arts organizations.”