BALTIMORE (AP) _ James Glicker said Thursday that he is stepping down as president and CEO of the Baltimore Symphony, denying that his decision had anything to do with friction among musicians over his appointment last summer of the first full-time female conductor of a major U.S. orchestra.

Glicker told The Associated Press he had accomplished what he had set out to do when he took the job a year and a half ago, and was leaving of his own accord. He was not leaving, he emphasized, because of the response by some to his hiring of Marin Alsop, considered one of the world's top female conductors.

``The musicians think that, but the musicians aren't very close to the situation,'' Glicker said.

Alsop's appointment as music director of the BSO in July sparked a rare public revolt among some musicians who objected to the process that led to the appointment. Alsop, who later received a genius grant from the MacArthur Foundation, takes over in 2007.

Alsop told The (Baltimore) Sun in an e-mail that she supports ``the board's decision and continue to be very excited about my new position in Baltimore. I look forward to working with the new president when my new role begins in 2007.''

Glicker was an unconventional symphony executive. He wears a ponytail and an earring and had never worked for a symphony orchestra before.

Glicker came to the job after working in marketing for a variety of companies, including the record label BMG Classics, 1-800-FLOWERS and Dannon yogurt. He was hired by the BSO in January 2004 as chief marketing officer and was named president in June, 2004.

The outgoing president told the BSO board last week that he would be stepping down, but said he has agreed to remain in a consulting capacity during the transition. BSO board member, W. Gar Richlin, an attorney and a principal of a management advisory firm, will be interim president and CEO while the search for a replacement is conducted, the BSO announced.

BSO Chairman Philip D. English said Glicker's accomplishments were remarkable ``in the face of the economic realities of today's symphony orchestras.''

``We were fortunate to have James here. We are equally fortunate to have someone of Gar Richlin's caliber willing to step in immediately.''