Business Council of Alabama President and CEO Billy Canary’s tenure officially ended today. The BCA’s announcement of Canary’s departure caps off more than a year of controversy surrounding his leadership of the state’s largest business organization.
A press release issued by the organization states that Canary has accepted a position as a senior fellow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Canary’s leaving coincides with a transition plan previously adopted by the BCA’s full governing board. BCA staff member Mark Colson has been assigned the day-to-day duties of president.
The move comes after several of the state’s largest companies quit the organization, with some openly questioning its leadership, direction, and effectiveness. A selection committee had previously been named to identify and hire a new CEO. The committee is comprised of members of the executive committee.
Alabama Power Co., Regions Bank, Blue Cross Blue Shield, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, Protective Life Corporation, Progress Rail, Parker Towing and Maynard, Cooper & Gale have all left the BCA during the last month.
In addition to business members, two long-time senior officials have also resigned from the organization. Next in line as chairman of the board and current chairman of ProgressPAC, Mike Kemp, president and CEO of Kemp Management Solutions LLC in Birmingham withdrew in June. BCA general counsel Fournier “Boots” Gale, senior vice president and general counsel for Regions Financial also resigned within the last three weeks.
Canary had been under contract in his current position through 2020.