MassDevelopment CEO candidate withdraws

Family illness leads to last-minute decision

MASSDEVELOPMENT WAS PREPARING to name a new CEO on Thursday, but now officials say the candidate has withdrawn her name from consideration.

State officials say Barbara Kroncke, a partner at McCarter & English in Boston, decided to withdraw her name to deal with illness in her family. Kroncke, a financial backer of Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, and the state Republican Party, made her decision in the last few days.

The board of MassDevelopment, a high-profile agency with a growing portfolio of development projects across the state and in Gateway Cities, voted 8-3 on April 13 not to renew the contract of the current CEO, Marty Jones. No explanation for the change in leadership at MassDevelopment was given. Jones, who currently earns $238,000 a year, was originally appointed CEO in April 2011, during the administration of former governor Deval Patrick.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The board appointed a CEO search committee, but it was unclear how much work the members had done because it was widely assumed that Kroncke was taking over. The search is now likely to begin in earnest, although one source said it was possible Jones could be asked to stay on for a period of time.

Since 2010, Kroncke has donated $2,500 to Polito, $2,000 to Baker, and $10,000 to the state Republican Party.

Baker administration officials confirmed the last-minute change in plans but declined further comment. Jones and Kroncke declined comment, as did the head of the MassDevelopment search committee.