The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce today announced that Paul Guzzi plans to retire as Chamber President and CEO, after leading the organization for the past 18 years. The Executive Committee of the Chamber’s Board of Directors has created a search committee to select Guzzi’s successor, which will be co-chaired by Chamber Chair John Fish, Chairman and CEO of Suffolk Construction, and Immediate Past Chair Karen Kaplan, Chairman and CEO of Hill Holliday.
The Chamber has grown into a major force in the Greater Boston business and political community, successfully advocating on Beacon Hill for a broad range of issues impacting the region’s business climate; partnering with institutions of higher learning to create a series of leadership development programs that help foster the next generation of business leaders; and serving as the area’s premier convener of thought leaders, hosting more than 100 speaking programs each year.
“I love the Chamber and am proud of the work we have done to improve our region’s business climate, cultivate future leaders, and strengthen our community,” said Guzzi. “The Chamber’s strong position makes this the ideal time for me to step aside and let a new leader usher the organization into its next phase. I am excited about the future of this dynamic and impactful organization.”
Fish and Kaplan said the search committee is looking for exceptional candidates who will build on Guzzi’s work, and will focus on creating a “Chamber of the Future.”
“Paul Guzzi epitomizes everything the Chamber stands for—leadership, vision, and collaboration,” said John Fish, Chair of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “Paul’s incredible accomplishments over the past 18 years have laid the foundation for the ‘Chamber of the Future’ and will help us write a new chapter in the history of the Boston business community.”
To assist in finding the best possible successor to Guzzi, Fish and Kaplan indicated the Chamber will retain an executive search firm to conduct an extensive search. They are in the process of interviewing firms and hope to make a decision soon.
“I have been privileged to know Paul for many years, and to work with him closely while I was Chair of the Chamber” said Karen Kaplan, Immediate Past Chair of the Chamber. “He is not only an effective and inspired leader, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the business community and the community at large, but he is also an important figure in our region. He will be difficult to replace, but we will work hard to fill his very big shoes.”
While no specific timeframe has been announced, Fish and Kaplan indicated they hope to have a new Chamber President and CEO in place in a timely manner. Guzzi has agreed to stay on until his successor is chosen.