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Empire State Development Corp. chairman and CEO Dennis Mullen reportedly is not part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s long-range plans, depriving the Rochester area of a local economic development dream team of Mullen and Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy.
Cuomo plans to restructure the ESDC. Duffy, who resigned as Rochester mayor last month to take office as lieutenant governor, is overseeing Cuomo’s job creation strategy, including the formation of 10 regional economic development councils.
Mullen, a resident of Pittsford, was named upstate president of the ESDC in August 2008 by former Gov. David Paterson. He was appointed chairman and CEO of the state agency by Paterson in June 2009 and was confirmed by the state Senate in May 2010.
Before that, Mullen was president and CEO of Birdseye Foods Inc. and later president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise Inc.
A replacement for Mullen has not been announced. Mullen has agreed to stay on until a successor has been determined, published reports state.
Mullen’s office said he was not available and referred questions to Cuomo’s office. Representatives from Cuomo’s office did not respond to calls from the Rochester Business Journal on Thursday and Friday.
A resolution of appreciation was read to Mullen by ESDC board member Kevin Corbett during the ESDC’s Dec. 16 meeting.
“The directors do express their appreciation and congratulations to Dennis Mullen on behalf of the 19 million people of the state of New York for his extraordinary contributions,” Corbett said, adding that Mullen has “enabled this corporation to achieve new levels of accomplishments and public support.
“We extend our warm good wishes to him for continued success in the years ahead.”
After listening to Corbett read the resolution, Mullen called his time with the ESDC an honor and a privilege.
“I have done the best that I possibly could do to be as balanced and as fair as I possibly could be in the decisions throughout the state, very difficult decisions both from a personal perspective sometimes as well as from a business perspective,” he said.
“But I do in my heart believe that we have made good decisions to be able to improve the overall economic environment for the state of New York over the last year and a half.”
In an interview with the Rochester Business Journal last June, before being elected lieutenant governor, Duffy said Mullen’s future would be in Cuomo’s hands if Cuomo and Duffy were elected but that “Dennis and his team have a great track record here.”
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