A 38-year-old economic developer from Missouri will replace a Triangle business executive at the helm of North Carolina’s new public-private partnership for job recruitment.
Christopher Chung will begin work as CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on Jan. 12, Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration announced Monday. In 2007, Chung launched the Missouri Partnership, which is also mostly funded by state government with contributions from the private sector.
He’ll replace interim CEO Richard Lindenmuth, who will continue to serve as a consultant for the organization. When Lindenmuth started in January, Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker called him “clearly our candidate for the long-term leadership of the partnership.”
But Lindenmuth faced criticism because he didn’t resign from Verto Partners, a management consulting firm that specializes in corporate restructuring and crisis management. Some said the dual role was a conflict of interest.
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Chung has spent his career in economic development in Missouri and Ohio. Under his leadership, the Missouri Partnership is credited with recruiting more than 10,000 jobs and $1 billion in capital investment since 2010.
Chung will receive an annual salary of $225,000 – well above the $120,000 paid to Lindenmuth this year through a personal service agreement with the Commerce Department. Lindenmuth’s salary is the maximum that legislation allows for the agency, so $105,000 of Chung’s pay will come from private contributions. He’ll also be eligible for a performance bonus of up to 25 percent of his salary.
The Missouri Partnership has a budget of about $2.5 million, according to news reports, with 20 percent of funding coming from the private sector.
North Carolina’s nonprofit is much larger, with $17 million a year in state funding and a requirement to raise $5.75 million privately over five years.