Gov. Bill Haslam said he is short on time to work closely with state agencies so he is hiring a chief operating officer to fill that role for him.
Haslam Tuesday announced the hiring of Greg Adams, a high-ranking officer at IBM, who will work in the administration's newly created COO position.
"I don't have nearly enough time to spend with the agency heads as I would like to," the governor told reporters Tuesday after an awards ceremony for environmental stewardship held at Lipscomb University.
"We've got people running departments that have 7,000 or 8,000 employees who I may get to see, talk to, twice a month. That's not a great way to be a huge resource to somebody," he said. "I think Greg can give that kind of hands-on help that I don't have the time to."
While Haslam is creating the new position for Adams, he will replace Deputy Gov. Claude Ramsey — who brought legislative and mayoral experience — to the administration. Ramsey is retiring this summer.
Adams' resume includes 37 years at IBM, including stints in Knoxville and Nashville. His responsibilities have included sales, marketing, operations, reengineering, and quality and general management, according to the governor's office.
Haslam said he specifically recruited Adams, 58, for the job. Adams begins July 8 and is set to make $165,000 annually.