CalPERS CEO Becomes Second Recent Exec Departure

APRIL 29, 2008 ( - The nation's largest public pension fund lost its second executive in recent days with word that chief executive officer Fred Buenrostro Jr., 58, will step down to pursue opportunities in the private sector.

Buenrostro announced his departure Monday after media reports of tension between Buenrostro and the board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CALPERS) – reports he labeled “unwarranted and incorrect.” His departure date is still under discussion, CalPERS spokeswoman Patricia Macht said.

“I had previously chosen not to publicly discuss my conversations with the board to give them an opportunity to pick the timing of an announcement,” Buenrostro said in a statement. “But recent press reports compel me and the board president to speak on this topic today.”

“Like so many other CEOs and senior executives here who have given up lucrative private sector opportunities to serve the public, ( Buenrostro) has over time talked more and more about wanting to consider the time left in his career to pursue exciting opportunities in the private sector,” CalPERS Board president Rob Feckner said in a separate statement. He called the speculation on why Buenrostro is leaving “unfortunate.”

Buenrostro’s announced departure follows an announcement that chief investment officer, Russell Read, will step down at the end of June (See CalPERS CIO Announces Resignation ).