Oakland’s new City Administrator Fred Blackwell is planning to give up his post soon take over as the new CEO of the San Francisco Foundation, a major nonprofit. Mayor Jean Quan had just hired Blackwell after she had ousted former City Administrator Deanna Santana. Sources said Blackwell will remain in his current post until June, and then will be replaced by Henry Gardner, a former city manager. Gardner will be the interim city administrator while Oakland conducts a search for a permanent replacement.
The departure of Blackwell, who was profiled today on the cover of the Oakland Tribune, represents yet another setback for Quan. The mayor’s selection of Blackwell, a popular figure in Oakland City Hall, helped blunt criticism over Santana’s exit. Blackwell also had won praise for leading the city’s efforts to keep its professional sports teams from leaving town. But sources said that Blackwell decided that he could not pass up the position of CEO of the San Francisco Foundation — which also pays better than his current job.