JUNEAU -- Sealaska Corp., President and CEO Chris McNeil Jr. announced his retirement Friday, after 12 years leading the Southeast Alaska regional Native corporation.
Sealaska Chairman Albert Kookesh praised McNeil for his long history with the corporation. "His leadership has guided us through many challenges and opportunities," he said.
Kookesh, a former Alaska state senator and current co-president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, said Sealaska was in a difficult position when McNeil became CEO, and he turned the company around.
“He has worked tirelessly on behalf of our tribal member shareholders and the Alaska Native community. We owe him and his family a tremendous debt of gratitude for his service.”
McNeil worked at Sealaska as corporate secretary, executive vice-president and general counsel before becoming CEO in 2001. In 2012 McNeil earned $674,000, including a base salary of $350,000 and bonuses and other compensation, according to the company.
McNeil said he expects to retire within the next nine months, prior to the company's annual meeting in June. By then, he hopes the company has a new CEO. He said he is committed to working closely with the board and an independent and reliable executive recruitment firm as it works to hire a new CEO.
Sealaska represents more than 21,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian tribal member shareholders.