Mary Moran retires from post as CEO of Calgary Economic Development

Calgary Economic Development CEO and president Mary Moran presents the annual report to the community on April 15, 2021. Global News

After more than a decade with Calgary Economic Development, former CEO Mary Moran retired from her post with the organization on Wednesday.

Moran had served as the CEO of CED for six years.

Her resignation was immediate, and the organization said it was “grateful for Ms. Moran’s leadership and vision, particularly during these difficult economic times,” adding it wished her success in her retirement.

“I am very proud of the strong foundation we have built at CED over my tenure as CEO, and I am grateful for the dedication of our employees in helping us achieve its goals. I have enjoyed every moment of my time at CED,” Moran said in an emailed statement.

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“My decision to retire was a difficult one, but I believe now is the right time for CED to move forward with the fresh perspective that new leadership can provide. I wish the organization and the staff members continued success.”

Moran did not say what her future plans were following her resignation.

Click to play video: 'Alberta’s economy took the hardest hit of all Canadian provinces in 2020'
Alberta’s economy took the hardest hit of all Canadian provinces in 2020

Speaking about Moran’s departure from CED on Thursday, Mayor Naheed Nenshi said she’d done an “extraordinary job” within the organization.

Nenshi said he spent years working closely with Moran, including travelling the world together representing Calgary.

“We’ve traveled all over the world together, both with big missions and just the two of us in a rental car getting lost, looking for an In-N-Out Burger,” he said.

“And I just want to say that I think she has done an extraordinary job in an extremely difficult time.”

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Nenshi commended Moran’s work during the economic downturn of 2014, when the city had to “completely shift how we think.”

“She was able to be a CEO who took that organization through an enormous existential change and… got it to a very high-performing organization with a terrific staff.”

Nenshi said as he’s not on the board of CED, he wasn’t privy to any more details on why she left her position so suddenly, but believes “we haven’t seen the last of her.”

“She will find ways to contribute going forward,” he said. “But I wish her the very best and I’m going to miss her.”

In 2018, Moran was named the CEO of the bid corporation which headed up Calgary’s bid to host the 2026 Olympic Games, which was eventually voted down in a plebiscite. During her time leading the charge on the bid, Moran took a leave of absence from the CED.

CED said it would start the hiring process for a new CEO “shortly,” and in the meantime, the organization’s work would be overseen by the senior leadership and current staff.

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Nenshi said when it comes to the next CEO of CED, he would like to see a strong person be able to take Calgary through the post-COVID period, and rebuild the economy with a focus on successful sectors like the film industry and tech sector.

Nenshi said he wouldn’t be on the search committee, and is also not running for re-election in the next municipal election, but said he’s certain the selection committee would be looking for “someone who is really able to execute on that, planning to get things done and keep that pipeline of investment going.”

“The real challenge for the new CEO, depending on when she or he comes in, will be to take us through this post-pandemic recovery and then to fire up that economic development engine to ensure that we’re building up on those seven industries that we’ve identified for growth, starting with energy, but moving to other sectors of the economy,” he said.

CED said Moran would help with any transition if needed, after laying a “strong foundation for the next CEO.”

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