CEDA boss steps down to support sick father
The year has ended on a sour note for the Central Economic Development Agency with the surprise resignation of its new chief executive due to family illness.
CEDA chief executive Will Samuel has resigned, after only five months with the fledgling organisation, so he can spend more time with family after his father was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
"It's not a decision I made lightly. We've put in a lot of hard work to get CEDA up and running, and I regret that I won't be here to see it pay off firsthand.
"[But] I need to prioritise my family at this time and move closer to them."
His father has been dealing with cancer off and on for several years, but the family recently got the news it had taken a turn for the worse.
Samuel said his family was moving up north, and his main focus for the next couple of years would be supporting his parents through the tough times ahead.
CEDA chairman Malcolm Bailey said Samuel's resignation was sudden and very disappointing, but he understood the need for him to put family first.
The "one bright spot" in the situation was the hunt for Samuel's successor wouldn't cost the organisation anything extra, he said.
"Under the deal we had [with the recruitment agency], if the person they found doesn't remain in the job for at least 12 months they'll find a replacement."
Manawatu mayor Helen Worboys said CEDA would begin looking for Samuel's replacement in the new year, and they expected a smooth transition thanks to Samuel agreeing to stay a little longer to continue laying the foundations.
Samuel will remain as chief executive until March, and has offered to work with his successor while they get set up.
"We're pleased Will is in the position to stay on that long. We've been very pleased with his work so far," Bailey said.