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VOL. 37 | NO. 25 | Friday, June 21, 2013

Gov. Haslam creates new COO position in Cabinet

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has hired a former IBM executive to become the state's chief operating officer, a new Cabinet-level position in his administration.

Haslam announced Tuesday that Greg Adams' role will be to promote efficiency and effectiveness in operations with state departments. He starts the new job paying $165,000 per year on July 8.

Haslam said Adams will take over many of the duties of Claude Ramsey, the deputy to the governor, who is retiring this summer. Haslam said he has no imminent plans to fill Ramsey's position.

The governor said Adams will focus on the workings of state government, while chief of staff Mark Cate will handle legislative and political affairs.

"If it's an operational issue within a department, it'll be Greg's world," Haslam said. "If it's something that could translate into legislation or something that would deal with media folks, that would probably end up more in Mark's world."

Adams spent 37 years at IBM, most recently as a managing director in the company's financial services sector. His career with IBM also included stings in Knoxville and Nashville. He later served in a variety of senior management roles in Tokyo, New York and Atlanta.

"For him state government feels small - we only have 40,000 employees, he's used to 400,000," Haslam said. "He's used to big environment with different points of responsibility and authority."

Adams holds bachelor's degree in engineering from Princeton and a master's in science and management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.