JACKSON, MS (WLOX) - Governor-elect Phil Bryant made his first major announcement Wednesday by appointing businessman and former Netscape Communications President Jim Barksdale as the Interim Executive Director of the Mississippi Development Authority.
"When I campaigned for governor, economic development and job creation were cornerstones of my campaign," said Gov.-elect Phil Bryant. "This position is so important to my administration that I wanted it to be the first that I announced."
"Jim's extensive experience makes him the perfect candidate to play a major role in creating jobs and growing our state's economy. I look forward to working with him and letting the world know that Mississippi is open for business," Bryant said.
According to officials, Barksdale will be tasked with assisting MDA in recruiting new businesses to Mississippi. He will also work to strengthen and grow businesses throughout the state. Barksdale currently serves as chairman of the board and president of Barksdale Management Corp.
"I am very honored to have the opportunity to serve Mississippi in this capacity," Barksdale said. "I am confident that we will continue to attract new businesses to our state and will establish Mississippi as an outstanding place to do business."
Barksdale will serve on an interim basis until a permanent appointment is made. Bryant will be sworn in as Mississippi's 64th governor at 12 p.m. on Jan. 10.