Longtime Charlotte Chamber CEO withdraws as candidate to run merged business group

Longtime Charlotte Chamber CEO Bob Morgan has withdrawn his name from the running to be the first CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, the economic development group that formed this year when the chamber merged with the Charlotte Regional Partnership.

The Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, which began operating Nov. 27, is conducting a national search for its CEO, and is expected to name a new leader in early 2019, according to a statement from the group Friday morning.

Morgan had been CEO of the Charlotte Chamber since 2005. Morgan oversaw all aspects of the nonprofit group, including its finances, economic development and public policy efforts, member programs, and sales and communications. Before his most recent role, Morgan was CEO of the Gaston Chamber from 2002-2005.

“Bob led the Charlotte Chamber during a time of unprecedented growth for Charlotte and our entire region,” said Jesse Cureton, board chair of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance in a statement.

Under Morgan, the chamber helped to recruit a number of high-profile events and businesses to Charlotte, from the 2012 Democratic National Convention to the PGA Championship in 2017.

The Charlotte Chamber-Charlotte Regional Partnership plans were announced in September. The merger combines the chamber with a group it formed in the 1990s and later spun off.

The merged group will be responsible for recruiting businesses to relocate and expand in the Charlotte region.

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In the statement, Morgan said the time is right for him “to chart the next chapter in my career.”

“I am optimistic about the future of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance and bullish about the long-term potential of our regional economy as the Alliance launches its inaugural year,” Morgan said.

As the retail and sports business reporter for the Observer, Katie Peralta covers everything from grocery-store competition in Charlotte to tax breaks for pro sports teams. She is a Chicago native and graduate of the University of Notre Dame.