Gov. Jerry Brown this morning appointed former bank executive Michael Rossi to be his top jobs adviser, an unpaid post.
Brown's office said in a release that Rossi, 67, will "streamline and invigorate the state's economic development infrastructure" while advising Brown on "regulatory, legislative and executive actions needed to drive job growth."
Rossi, of Pebble Beach, was chairman and chief executive officer of Aozora Bank and took it public in 2006, the governor's office said. He was previously vice chairman and chief risk officer of BankAmerica Corp.
Business leaders have lobbied Brown for months to create a jobs czar, and the Democratic governor has been considering an appointment at least since April.
Rossi is on the advisory board of Shorenstein Properties LLC and is a senior adviser to the San Francisco 49ers, the governor's office said.
Brown is in Fresno for a series of meetings, including with elected leaders and law enforcement officials.
Brown's visit is the first of his third term to Fresno, which became accustomed to a substantial degree of gubernatorial attention from Brown's predecessor, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger called the Central Valley "the abs of California," and political and civic leaders hosted a tribute event for him before he left office.
Brown may find Fresno to be a less enthusiastic host. Meg Whitman, Brown's Republican opponent in last year's gubernatorial race, beat Brown in Fresno County by more than 9 percentage points.