Former Charlotte Chamber CEO Bob Morgan will lead the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce beginning next month, he and the state chamber disclosed Wednesday.
Morgan is replacing Ted Pitts, who led the organization for six years starting in January 2015. Pitts, a former state representative and chief of staff to Gov. Nikki Haley, notified the chamber in October that he planned to step down at the end of 2020.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the chamber in what will soon be the post-pandemic era of our economy,” Morgan said. “The ingredients are in place for South Carolina to earn its rightful recognition as one of the most pro-business states in our country.”
The South Carolina Chamber is located in Columbia.
Morgan spent the past two years at Charlotte law firm Robinson Bradshaw as public affairs director.
Prior to that, Morgan led the Charlotte Chamber for 13 years, beginning in 2005. At the time, the chamber focused on public policy in local and state government, economic recruiting and expansion in Charlotte, and networking events and programs.
He stepped down as president and CEO late in 2018, as the chamber and the Charlotte Regional Partnership merged — a move that coincided with Morgan withdrawing his name from consideration to lead the combined entity. That entity, known as the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, focuses on marketing, business, talent and advocacy — but with a regional emphasis.
Turf battles between the chamber and the partnership and confusion over what responsibilities and roles were shared — or not — spurred the merger.
Morgan and his team at the Charlotte Chamber managed 800 economic development projects during his 13 years at the helm. Those projects added 69,000 jobs and private investment totaling $6.7 billion to the local economy.
In a prepared statement, Tim Arnold, South Carolina Chamber board chairman, said, “We are excited to welcome an experienced leader like Bob to the Chamber and work with him expanding and growing South Carolina businesses.”
Morgan told CBJ this week that his time at Robinson Bradshaw “has been a great experience” and added that he looks “forward to continuing a close professional relationship” with the firm in his new job.
Morgan, a Charlotte native, started his career in the district office of Republican Congressman Alex McMillan. From 1991 to 2002, he served in various roles at the Charlotte Chamber, including business advocacy and public policy. In 2002, he became president and CEO of the Gaston Chamber of Commerce, leaving after three years to take the reins at the Charlotte Chamber.
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