Jack Ehnes, longtime chief executive officer at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), is postponing his retirement to steer the $246 billion pension plan through the coronavirus pandemic, the fund said Friday.
The leader of the largest educator-only fund in the world will continue at the helm through June 2021. His decision came after the CalSTRS board requested he postpone his retirement as trustees continue their search for a new chief executive while scrambling to respond to the economic impact of COVID-19.
“This decision will enable CalSTRS to maintain focus on appropriately responding to the coronavirus crisis and securing the financial future of California’s educators,” the fund’s statement read.
CalSTRS announced Ehnes’ retirement just three weeks ago. The leader, who planned to retire in September, has led the fund for about 18 years.
“I have reached that crossroads in life for some more adventures,” Ehnes said at a board meeting earlier this month. “After much thinking, reflection, talking with family, it just felt like this was the right time to do this.”
Other chief executives outside the pension board also have taken extraordinary steps in response to COVID-19. On Monday, the chief executive of General Electric said he would cut half his pay this year, following moves from other airline executives who have done the same.
In Singapore, the sovereign wealth fund Temasek earlier this month froze worker pay and reduced bonuses for senior management because of the outbreak.