Chicago Gets New Chief Economic Recruiter, Booster

Philip Clement has been named the new president and CEO of World Business Chicago. (Courtesy of World Business Chicago)Philip Clement has been named the new president and CEO of World Business Chicago. (Courtesy of World Business Chicago)

World Business Chicago, a public-private group responsible for economic development and business recruitment, has itself recruited a new leader.

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

As the new president and CEO of World Business Chicago, Philip Clement is charged with reversing high-profile departures of businesses like Boeing, Caterpillar and Citadel while continuing recruiting momentum that in March led Site Selection magazine to announce Chicago as the top metropolitan area for corporate investment for the 11th year running.

“I am honored to join World Business Chicago and lead efforts to support inclusive economic development and drive growth in Chicago and the region,” Clement said in a statement.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and World Business Chicago vice chair Charles Smith jointly announced Clement’s appointment in a news release Tuesday.

“His proven leadership, strategic vision, and commitment to inclusive economic development make him the ideal candidate to lead our organization as we work to drive growth, attract investment, and promote Chicago as a global business destination,” said Smith, who is CEO of the commercial insurance brokerage CS Insurance Strategies.

Clement previously served as the global chief marketing officer at Aon and then at Johnson Controls. He also served on the board of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, where according to his LinkedIn profile he earned an MBA.

World Business Chicago in February lost its last permanent president, Michael Fassnacht, who left to become Clayco’s chief growth officer. Fassnacht is also the engineering and construction firm’s president of a new Chicagoland division.

Eric Sedler, who was appointed to World Business Chicago’s board in February, has served as the group’s leader on an interim basis.

The December announcement of Fassnacht’s exit early into Johnson’s tenure — coupled with the departure of Vice Chair Mellody Hobson, a co-CEO of Ariel Investments — drew attention given misgivings within the business community about Johnson. 

Real estate companies and corporations banded together ahead of the March 19 primary to defeat Johnson’s Bring Chicago Home referendum requestion that would have given the Chicago City Council the power to raise taxes on high-end real estate sales as a means of funding homelessness prevention programs.

But Johnson is also investing city funds in revitalizing Chicago’s business district, including with an initiative to reimagine the once-vibrant LaSalle Street corridor.

Johnson in a statement called Clement an “exceptional leader with a remarkable track record of driving growth, fostering innovation, and championing inclusivity.”

Johnson continued: “With his extensive experience and deep understanding of both local and global economic landscapes, Philip brings a unique perspective that will undoubtedly propel World Business Chicago forward. His commitment to authenticity, sustainability, and diversity will ensure that our city’s economic development efforts are equitable and impactful for all Chicagoans.”

Contact Amanda Vinicky: @AmandaVinicky[email protected]

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors:

View all sponsors