Cuomo taps Kenneth Adams to lead ESDC

The president and chief executive of The Business Council of New York State Inc. will leave to take on the same title at the Empire State Development Corp.

By Daniel Massey

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday nominated Kenneth Adams, who has headed the state’s top business organization for the past five-plus years, to lead a restructured Empire State Development Corp.

“With Ken Adams as president and CEO, the Empire State Development Corp. will fuel New York-based innovation and create jobs at home while helping to transform the state into a world-class center for business and new ideas,” Mr. Cuomo said, in a statement.

Already, Mr. Cuomo had appointed Leecia Eve as senior vice president and counsel to the agency and Paul Francis to the newly created role of director of agency redesign and efficiency. He is still looking for a chairman, who will focus on upstate issues. The governor said the appointment of Mr. Adams is part of his plan to change the leadership structure of the agency that directs the state’s economic development strategy. Mr. Adams succeeds Dennis Mullen.

In his new role, Mr. Adams will work closely with Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy to create 10 Regional Economic Development Councils across the state that will compete for funds. He will also serve as commissioner of the Department of Economic Development.

“Ken knows doing business in New York can be like swimming upstream, but now he is in a position to change the tide,” said Kevin Burke, chief executive of Consolidated Edison and chairman of the board at The Business Council of New York State Inc. “Business leaders know and trust him, and for good reason.”

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