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State

Whitley says planned retirement ‘good for the Illinois Chamber’

CEO Whitley sets retirement from Ill. Chamber of Commerce

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce said President and Chief Executive Douglas L. Whitley plans to retire next June.

Whitley, 63, a former Ameritech Illinois executive, has led the chamber for 12 years.

Ray Drake, chairman of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce board, said that Whitley announced his plans at the board’s quarterly meeting Thursday. He said the timing of Whitley’s retirement gives the next CEO and board time to set its agenda before the 2014 gubernatorial election.

“It will be good for the Illinois Chamber to have a new leader with a fresh perspective when the next gubernatorial administration starts, whether Gov. Pat Quinn is re-elected or we have a new governor,” Whitley said.

Whitley added that he was proud of the chamber’s accomplishments in a tough decade for the state.

“The political dysfunction of our state government, marked by corruption, lack of fiscal discipline and excessive unemployment, has not made it an easy era for Illinois employers,” he said.

Still, Whitley concluded, “This is one of the best jobs in Illinois.”

The chamber will conduct a nationwide search for his replacement.

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