By Maria Saporta
Renee Glover, the nationally-acclaimed CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority, is leaving her post after a three-year political struggle with City Hall.
The AHA board on Tuesday accepted Glover’s resignation, and a release announcing the move said she had “done an outstanding job over the past 19 years and the entire board wishes her will in her future endeavors.”
The resignation was effective immediately, but Glover has agreed to be available to assist AHA during a 90-day transition period, which is supposed to end Nov. 30, 2013.
The board said it will begin a national search for Glover’s replacement. In the meantime, Joy Fitzgerald, AHA’s chief real estate officers, will serve as interim CEO.
The AHA board, under the leadership of Chairman Dan Halpern, had been negotiating a possible exit agreement with Glover. Halpern, a mayoral appointee, had worked closely with Kasim Reed during his first campaign as mayor in 2009.
It has been widely reported that Reed was quite unhappy that the former members of the AHA board had renewed Glover’s contract in the summer of 2010. When Reed and Halpern originally sought to remove Glover, they quickly realized that it would cost the authority more than a million dollars to buy out her contract.
Halpern and the mayor have not fully explained why they wanted a change in leadership at AHA, other than saying that it is “fully within the prerogative of the mayor and the board” to do so.
Glover has been considered one of the best public housing officials in the country. When she became interim CEO of AHA in 1994 after serving on its board, the authority was almost in default and there had been a revolving door of executives who were considered to be poor managers.
When she became CEO, Glover championed the idea of tearing down traditional housing projects and replacing them with mixed-income communities that would be served with other amenities. The idea was to help people break out of the cycle of poverty by not having a concentration of poor people living in one dense community.
Today, Atlanta has demolished all of its major traditional housing projects except for its senior housing high rises.