Detroit Mayor Dave Bing Announced in a statement Monday evening that a search for a new Chief Operating Officer (COO) is underway.

A blow to the Bing administration came late last week when Chief Operating Officer Chris Brown resigned suddenly to take an out-of-state job in the private sector.

Four days after news broke of Brown’s departure, it’s still unclear exactly what prompted Brown’s hasty resignation.

The mayor’s office has been mostly quiet about the matter, with only one brief statement from Bing Monday evening wishing Brown good luck in his new position and declaring a search for someone to fill Brown’s position.

“Chris Brown played a significant role in helping to redefine City of Detroit operations,” Bing wrote in a statement. “His departure will surely leave a void. The process of finding a replacement to fill the role of Chief Operating Officer will begin immediately. I wish Chris much success in his new opportunity. ”

Brown’s short tenure as Detroit COO saw the major restructuring of City services and contracts amid a financial crisis. The restructuring process has been an ongoing battle between union leaders and the Bing administration.
Before his post as COO, Brown served as vice president of DTE Energy where he spearheaded the startup of an off shore wind power system for DTE.

Last week Brown resigned from the City of Detroit to take a job with the Denmark-based wind power company Vestas. The company’s North American headquarters is in Portland, Oregon where Brown will serve as President of Vestas America and Vestas Group Vice President.

Browns turnaround and cost cutting experience as the City of Detroit’s COO could come in play in his new post where he is expected to oversee the company’s “operations and current implementation of cost savings and organizational adjustments” according to a Vestas press release.

While Brown has not made a public comment about his decision to step down from Detroit, in a statement from Vestas announcing his new post he said he would work to improve Vestas’ operations.

“My approach will be to understand what we need to continue to do well and address those areas in which we can improve our operations. I’ve learned that building healthy relationships with customers, employees and the community is an important component to success,” Brown said.

Brown joins a long list of city officials who have resigned during the Mayor’s three years in office.
Among those who stepped down during Bing’s tenure are Deputy Mayor Saul Green; Police Chief James Barren; Police Chief Warren Evans, fire commissioner James Mack Jr.; Chief Operating Officer Robert Buckler; Chief of Staff Shannon Holmes; Group Executives Al Fields and Sue Carnell; Coleman A. Young International Airport Director Delbert Brown; chief administrative officer Charles Beckham; Communications Heads Karen Dumas and Dan Lijana; Finance Director Tom Lijana; Deputy Director of Recreation Lee Stephenson; Director of Planning and Development Warren Palmer; and Director of Detroit Workforce Development Department Larry Hightower. 

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