Jack Ehnes, CalSTRS CEO, will retire Sept. 1 after 18 years in the post, he announced at Thursday’s board of directors meeting.
In closed session, the board of the $252.4 billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System, West Sacramento, selected a search committee that will choose a recruiter and conduct a competitive search for a new CEO, CalSTRS board chairwoman Sharon Hendricks said in open session.
“It seems that for almost my entire work life I’ve either been on a board or worked for a board,” Mr. Ehnes said at the board meeting.
“We’ve done a lot together and made sure the system stayed honest.”
Since joining CalSTRS as CEO in 2002, the pension system has changed from top to bottom a number of times, he said.
For example, early on in Mr. Ehnes’ career at CalSTRS, a reform movement threatened to reduce or eliminate public pension plans’ ability to provide secure retirement benefits, CalSTRS noted in a news release. The system emerged with a long-term funding plan and benefit structure.
Ms. Hendricks said that in her eight years on the CalSTRS board it has been a pleasure to work with “a CEO with integrity and vision.”
She noted that it is a big deal to have a CEO and a CIO (Christopher Ailman) with such long tenures.
“Part of the board’s responsibility always is to do succession planning” and the board has been working on a CEO succession plan for several years, Ms. Hendricks said.
In January, the board adopted a new succession planning policy, the last step in its succession planning readiness process, according to materials from the Jan. 30 meeting.
Mr. Ehnes’ legacy is “hard to put into words,” she said. “Jack, you are good people.”