Nov 14, 2014
NASHVILLE – November 14, 2014 - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced that Bill Hagerty, commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), will be leaving the administration to return to the private sector. “Bill has done an incredible job leading our state’s business recruitment efforts for the past four years,” Haslam said. “Our goal has been to make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs, and Bill has been key to the successes we’ve had in attracting new investment into the state as well as continued growth of our existing businesses. I am grateful for his willingness to serve in the Cabinet and wish him and Chrissy the best upon his return to the private sector.”
Hagerty has led landmark recruitment efforts for the state, with Tennessee being recognized this year as the State of the Year in economic development. Tennessee was recognized just last month as the No. 1 state in the nation for job commitments through foreign direct investment.
Under his leadership, the Tennessee Film, Entertainment and Music Commission refocused its efforts to better leverage all three industries. The department worked closely with the entertainment industry and legislature to retool the state’s film industry incentives to simplify and broaden access. This repositioning resulted in his team’s recruitment of the ABC hit series “Nashville.” The television show airs in more than 50 countries and touches millions of viewers every week.
Hagerty also broadened the state’s portfolio of economic development tools, adding programs focused on foreign direct investment, exports and entrepreneurism. He launched a new division, TNTrade, adding four overseas offices – for a total of six – aimed directly at expanding international markets, a major opportunity for Tennessee companies and entrepreneurs.
To better support entrepreneurial growth and innovation in the state, the department restructured and repositioned the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation and rebranded it as LaunchTN, which oversees a series of innovative programs dedicated to entrepreneurism, corporate development and attraction of early stage capital. LaunchTN oversees the nation’s only statewide business accelerator network.
“It has been my distinct honor to serve with Gov. Haslam on behalf of the people of Tennessee,” Hagerty said. “The exceptional team we assembled executed one of the most aggressive economic development programs in the world. Tennesseans deserve no less. Our team recruited some of the world’s most iconic companies and enhanced our state’s global reputation for business. I would like to thank Gov. Haslam for this opportunity to serve. I look forward to working with the governor to judiciously transition this important work to our state’s next commissioner of Economic and Community Development.”
Before being appointed ECD commissioner in January of 2011, he was managing director of Hagerty Peterson & Company, LLC, a merchant bank and private equity firm, which he founded. Before that he worked with Trident Capital, L.P., a private equity investment firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, and with The Boston Consulting Group, an international management consultancy.
He has served in a number of executive positions ranging from chief financial officer, to chairman and chief executive officer. He has served on the boards of directors of both U.S. and international companies, private and publicly traded.
Hagerty worked on the White House domestic policy staff during the George H.W. Bush administration as a member of the President’s Council on Competitiveness. He also served as a national finance chairman for Romney for President in 2007-2008 and headed the Romney presidential appointments team responsible for the nomination of Cabinet, subcabinet and key ambassadorships for the 2012 Presidential transition effort.
A native of Gallatin, he earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University. He and his wife, Chrissy, have four children and attend St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville.
Hagerty will serve as co-chair of the 2015 Inaugural Committee. The governor will name a successor at a later date.