Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Craig Richard Resigns

After two weeks on paid administrative leave, Greater Louisville Inc. President and CEO Craig Richard resigned on Monday.

Richard took the position at the city’s chamber of commerce in January 2013 and his resignation is effective immediately.

During his brief tenure, Richard made a number of staff cuts along with a hiring and travel freeze to help cut costs.

Richard said the cuts were meant to put the organization’s finances in order and refocus its priorities.

“Like many businesses in this new economy, we too are learning to do more with less,” he wrote in October of last year.

Eileen Pickett, the former GLI Senior Vice President of Economic Development, will take on the duties of acting CEO.

GLI has recently been hit with a series of troubling reports, including a poor fundraising campaign that fell short of its $1.9 million goal.

Asked the reason for Richard’s departure, a GLI spokesperson told WFPL he is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

In a statement, board chairman Kerry Stemler said this is a temporary transition while the chamber continues discussions with potential CEO candidates from the private, local business community.

“Greater Louisville Inc. has managed effectively though transitional periods in the past. We are fortunate to have the region’s top business leaders helping direct our growth,” he says. “We wish Craig the very best in the future.”

GLI is an independent agency, but Louisville Metro Government contributed just over $950,000 to the chamber this year.

A spokesman for Mayor Greg Fischer declined to comment on the resignation.

In a Feb. 10 letter to GLI’s board of directors, Council President Jim King, D-10, said city lawmakers were hearing about rumors of Richard’s departure through media reports. But he chastised GLI for failing to keep council members in the loop about the group’s leadership.

“The Metro Council approves a significant investment in GLI annually and expects to be kept informed of significant organizational changes such as this,” King said.

Jim King Letter to Greater Louisville Inc.

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