The state Commerce Department has hired a new leader to re-vamp and privatize economic development across the state. Richard Lindenmuth is the new Interim CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
Lindenmuth has served as CEO of more than ten companies, and was president of ITT's Business and Consumer Communications Group in Raleigh.
Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker promised a total re-organization of her department. So, today, she and Governor Pat McCrory announced their choice for head of the new state partnership.
Secretary Decker says Lindenmuth is "known as a change agent for successfully helping organizations through transition." Decker also says Lindenmuth would be instrumental in "increasing customer focus, as well as speed and efficiency in all economic development initiatives."
Lindenmuth is considered an interim appointee because the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has not been officially approved yet. It's still in the hands of the Office of State Budget and Management. Millions of dollars would have to be shifted to the new private non-profit in order for it to become a reality.
Some have criticized the move, which would privatize many of the agency’s functions and eliminate dozens of positions. There have also been reports criticizing several states that have privatized economic development, accusing them of misusing taxpayer money.
McCrory said in a news release, "This new partnership will strengthen our state's recruiting efforts and increase efficiency."