Swoope named Enterprise Fla bossby John Kennedy | February 28th, 2011
A month after firing his predecessor, Gov. Rick Scott on Monday named a Mississippi economic development executive to lead the public-private partnership, Enterprise Florida.
“Bringing new energy and expertise to Florida’s economic development activities is an ideal task for which Gray Swoope is well suited,” Scott said. “I am excited to have him leading the job creation and economic development mission in Florida.”
Scott last month abruptly fired Enterprise Florida’s CEO, John Adams, shortly after concluding the agency’s annual meeting. Scott gave no reason publicly. But the new governor clearly has ideas about how the state’s job recruitment should be conducted — beginning with his proposal to establish an economic development agency controlled by his office.
How Swoope figures in those plans wasn’t clear from Scott’s announcement Monday. But Scott may have hinted he plans to maintain a commanding role in bringing industries to Florida when he concluded that Swoope “will be a tremendous complement to my efforts as governor.”
In Mississippi, Swoope worked for Gov. Haley Barbour, and is credited with having helped woo such manufacturers as Toyota and GE Aviation to the state. Swoope also was part of a redesign of Mississippi’s package of economic incentives and help cut the workforce and budget of the Mississippi Development Authority, sure to draw raves from his new Florida boss.