FREDERICTON – Stephen Lund is leaving his job as chief executive officer of Opportunities NB (ONB), the premier announced during his state of the province address that placed much emphasis on the agency’s role in growing the economy in the coming years.
“Stephen will soon close out a five-year mandate,” said Premier Blaine Higgs in his address. “We wish him well in future endeavours.”
Higgs didn’t provide any more details on Lund’s departure during his speech. The outgoing CEO was appointed by the previous Liberal government in February 2015.
The premier praised Lund after the speech.
“Stephen has been a leader in the field,” Higgs told Huddle after the speech. “He’s represented us well, not only throughout Canada but in other countries as well.”
Nonetheless, he told reporters that ONB is moving in a new path and the focus for the next leader will be collaboration with other departments in the government.
“We have to have an integration in the other departments of government,” he said. “Because, you see, one of the major issues with ONB is investment attraction, but it’s also immigration, it’s finding people for interesting companies.”
Higgs said his government worked after the election with current board chairs, groups and health authority CEOs instead of making widespread changes.
“I do not believe we can just throw people out because it’s an election, and you know, that doesn’t mean that everybody works out,” he said. “But what it means is that you need to find some stability in the system.”
Higgs did not announce a replacement or a timetable for selecting one.
Originally from Saint John, Lund had 30 years of experience in finance and economic development before he became head of ONB five years ago.
He was CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. from 2001 to 2013, and CEO of Bermuda Business Development Agency. He also served as vice-president of industrial benefits and community affairs with Irving Shipbuilding Inc.