Jose Lozana, Choose Jersey’s chief executive officer since June 2018, will step down to become a senior vice president of business at Hackensack Meridian Health.
Lozano worked at the health care system prior to his involvement with the Murphy administration. It is not immediately clear who will take his place.
“The future is bright for New Jersey’s innovation economy and all that it has to offer,” Lozana said in a prepared statement on Thursday. “[F]rom our diverse talent, to our outstanding higher education institutions, our strategic location and so much more.”
Choose NJ has sponsored several major trade missions by New Jersey leaders and business executives to various nations in order to market the Garden State, most recently to Israel last month.
It also sponsored the governor’s trade mission to Germany and Israel in 2018, and to India in 2019.
Those trips notched several major wins for the state, including Teva Pharmaceuticals’ move to New Jersey, though that deal and the state’s $40 million tax break to them came under fire for the company’s alleged role in the opioid epidemic.
Still, several major employers have opted to pick New Jersey as their next location, including BeiGene with its outpost in Hopewell Township, Fiserv in Berkeley Heights; WebMD and the HAX Accelerator in Newark; and Party City in Woodcliff Lake.
Separately, Choose NJ said in February that it was able to lure 33 separate businesses to the Garden State in 2020.
“Jose Lozano has done a tremendous job helping to grow New Jersey’s economy and attract global businesses to our great state,” Murphy said in a prepared statement.
The nonprofit has some heavy financial backers and supporters: its board includes PSEG, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, PNC Bank, Hackensack Meridian Health, United Airlines, Prudential Financial and RWJ Barnabas Health.
In 2017, Lozana was head of the transition team for then-Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, who is entering his second term as governor next month.
In January 2019, he was called to testify before lawmakers in connection with the Katie Brennan sexual assault scandal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]