Brad Ferguson, the president and CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), is stepping down after more than five years in the position.
Ferguson was not available for comment on Tuesday, but EEDC chief of staff Adam Sweet said in a statement that “Brad has decided that it is time to begin the next chapter of his career.”
“The five-year mark is a natural reflection and decision point for the leader of any major organization,” Sweet said.
“The EEDC board has expressed its sincere gratitude and appreciation for Brad’s leadership over the past five years and has wished him well in his future endeavours.”
Sweet wouldn’t say what Ferguson plans to do next, beyond adding that “he intends for the next phase of his career to be as a private citizen.”
The EEDC’s role is to promote and build the city’s reputation, drive the growth of the city and attract visitors and investment to Edmonton.
“Brad has done phenomenal work for our city in the last five years,” Mayor Don Iveson said. “He’s really helped transform and modernize Edmonton economic development to be relevant in a lot of new ways — particularly around tech and innovation — and built the kind of organization that we could trust to take on the Expo Centre in the Northlands transition that’s happening.
“I wish Brad, really the best in whatever he does next. He’s an extremely shrewd business leader and strategist and I think whatever he does next, he’s going to have a huge impact.”
Ian O’Donnell, who took over the reins at the Downtown Business Association last year, heard the news Tuesday morning and said Ferguson has been a great champion for the city.
“Brad really brought a new business recognition to EEDC and really was demanding in some of the deliverables and metrics of how they provide value to the city — to the region — and I think he’s been successful at really putting a bit of a spotlight on what they do and how they do it,” O’Donnell said.
“After five years, I think… that’s a time that you often reflect and see what you’ve accomplished and what the next opportunity might look like moving forward.”
Ferguson’s resignation will be effective March 30, 2018.
Sweet said the EEDC will release further details on the CEO replacement process in the New Year.