Bob Rolfe

Bobby Rolfe is stepping down as commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, effective July 11, and Stuart McWhorter is returning to government service to replace him in the post.

Gov. Bill Lee announced the transition Tuesday. According to a release, Rolfe will return to the private sector.

Rolfe has led the department since 2017, a time period that has included the successful recruitment of major companies like Ford and Oracle to the state. McWhorter previously worked for Lee as commissioner of the Department of Finance and Administration and leader of the COVID-19 Unified Command group.

McWhorter returned to investment work and took on an advisory role at alma mater Clemson University upon leaving government in 2020.

“Bobby has played an invaluable role in my cabinet by recruiting new businesses and industry to our state, supporting existing companies and expanding economic opportunity across Tennessee, particularly in our rural communities,” Lee said in the release. “I commend his service to Tennesseans and wish him much success as he enters the private sector.”