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Alabama’s BCA seeking new CEO after controversial departures

This article was updated at 11:30 a.m.  

The Business Council of Alabama says it’s looking for a new chief executive following a wave of high-profile departures.

The Montgomery-based nonprofit issued a statement Thursday saying it will have a new leader to replace president and CEO Billy Canary no later than Jan. 1.

The move comes after several of the state’s largest companies quit the organization, with some openly questioning its leadership.

Alabama Power Co., Regions Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative all left the organization in recent days.

Yellowhammer News has also confirmed that Progress Rail of Albertville and Parker Towing of Tuscaloosa have also withdrawn citing concerns of direction, leadership and effectiveness.

In addition to business members, two long-time senior officials have also resigned from the organization. Next in line as chairmen of the board and current chairman of ProgressPAC, Mike Kemp, president and CEO of Kemp Management Solutions LLC in Birmingham withdrew Wednesday evening. BCA general counsel Fournier “Boots” Gale, senior vice president and general counsel for Regions Financial, resigned on Tuesday.

Officials with the organization say they wanted an orderly transition to replace Canary, who’s run the business group since 2003. Exiting companies say they have expressed concerns about the leadership and effectiveness of the organization since August 2017 with no meaningful response.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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