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Sarasota-Manatee
Business Observer Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 7 years ago

Mote Marine CEO to move on after 27 years

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Kumar Mahadevan has been with the organization since 1978.

SARASOTA — One of the most successful and recognized nonprofit executives in the Sarasota-Bradenton region, Kumar Mahadevan with Mote Marine Laboratory, is stepping down from his position.

Michael Crosby, senior vice president for research at Mote, was named president and CEO. Mahadevan, who has been CEO of Mote for 27 years, was named a president emeritus of the organization, according to a joint statement released today from Mahadevan and Mote's board of trustees. Mahadevan will be an ambassador and advocate of Mote for at least the next two years, the release states, and he will also mentor Crosby.

Mahadevan joined Mote in 1978 as a senior scientist and was named CEO in 1986. He has been Mote's longest-serving leader in the organization's 58-year history, the release states. Mahadevan, in the release, says assuming non-operational duties will allow him to spend more time with his family. “I've been thinking about slowing down for several years now,” he says. “My wife and I would like to travel. We have grandchildren that we want to spend time with — it's time.”

Mote had an annual operating budget of about $2 million and 52 employees when Mahadevan became CEO. The organization now has an annual operating budget of more than $17 million, with 192 employees. The payroll includes 31 Ph.D.-level scientists. The organization has also expanded its physical presence under Mahadevan's leadership. That includes an aquaculture park in eastern Sarasota County where it runs a commercial caviar operation; research field stations on Pine Island in Charlotte Harbor and Summerland Key in the Florida Keys; and satellite offices in Punta Gorda and Boca Grande. For more on the caviar facility click here.

The board, in the statement, praised Mahadevan's contributions to Mote. “Kumar's tenure at Mote has been transformative,” board Chairman Bob Carter says. “Under his leadership, Mote has grown from a small research group to a full-fledged scientific laboratory with a reputation for excellence — not just here locally or in Florida, but nationally and internationally as well. Mote has also gained a public aquarium that today is one of the region's most popular attractions. We are deeply appreciative of his contributions and excited that he will continue to support Mote as the national scientific treasure that it has become.”

Crosby, who will officially become CEO May 16, joined Mote in 2010. He previously held administrative posts in research at George Mason University and the University of Hawai'i-Hilo. He has also worked for the National Science Board and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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