Industry-Recruiting Agency Gets Management Shake-Up; Eleven Senior Executives in Economic Development Office Fired or Demoted

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- The agency charged with attracting employers, tourists and moviemakers to the state underwent a major shake-up Thursday that resulted in 11 senior executives getting fired or demoted -- including those leading the tourism and international divisions.

Gov. Sonny Perdue's commissioner of economic development, Craig Lesser, has been on the job nine months, and he gave birth to his reorganization at a 5 p.m. staff meeting. The changes were effective immediately.

Those who were ousted are Carlos Martel, the Cuban-born deputy commissioner for the Department of Economic Development's international trade division, and Janis Cannon, a former hotel executive who headed the tourism effort.

The shuffling creates one global commerce division out of separate branches of the agency, and it will be led by the current deputy commissioner for policy and research, Chris Clark. He will also oversee efforts to persuade companies already in Georgia not to leave, and the agency's assistance to small businesses around the state.

Lesser also created a new division for marketing and communications under the direction of Loretta Lepore, Perdue's former press secretary and a one-time CNN anchor. …

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