Placer County approves new CEO contract
2 Years Employment Agreement @ $272,875 Salary
AUBURN, CA – After a nationwide search, Gene Christenson has been chosen to fill the position of county executive for Placer County permanently. Christenson, who has served as acting CEO since June 2022, was selected from 15 qualified candidates.
During its meeting today, the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a two-year employment agreement with an annual starting salary of $272,875. The board relied on the services of an executive headhunting firm to conduct a nationwide search for a new CEO. The recruitment has attracted a large pool of applicants from all over California as well as other states.
“I want to thank all of the committee members and county staff who were involved in the extensive selection process,” said District 5 Superintendent and Board Chair Cindy Gustafson. “The Board appreciates the wisdom and communication from the many of our constituents, the elected department heads, and the staff who will work with and for Jane. I think it’s important for residents to understand how comprehensive the process is and how united we are in our support of Jane’s appointment.”
Christenson was first hired by Placer County in January 2019 as Assistant County Executive Officer to former CEO Todd Leopold, who *resigned* in June 2022. Over the past three years, Christenson has been instrumental in advancing the county’s strategic initiatives and facilitating communication and coordination between departments.
(Editor’s note: According to an earlier official release from Placer County, the former The CEO has been terminated)
“Jane has served as CEO for the past five months and has done an excellent job and I’m really excited to have her as our new CEO,” said Bonnie Gore, Area 1 Supervisor. I am also pleased to see great internal leadership moving up the ranks. It’s great that we’ve been able to move Jane into this role and I’m confident she’s the best candidate for this important position.”
Christenson brings a wealth of leadership, land-use planning, and budgeting experience to the position gained through nearly three decades of service to a number of local government agencies spanning the West Coast. Her resume includes 18 years of service to the City of Redmond, Washington, where she was Deputy City Manager responsible for strategic direction and day-to-day operations. Prior to her work in Redmond, Christenson held senior positions in land use planning, regional public works and public safety infrastructure partnerships with cities SacramentoCoronado and Redondo Beach.
“Jane is the seventh county executive I have worked with in 28 years and I wanted to publicly congratulate her,” said Robert Wiegandt, Superintendent of District 2. “We had a great group of people to interview. The second round of interviews were all internal candidates, and they were all perfect, but Jane has a unique set of skills and attributes that I know will serve us well. As I look forward to retirement, I know the county will be well served.” By leading it in the Executive Office.
“I am truly honored to serve in this capacity. Like many on the Board, I come from a long tradition of public service in my family,” said CEO Gene Christenson. “There is a quote my father will share from Theodore Roosevelt that I think captures the moment. It is, “The best prize life has to offer is the opportunity to work hard at a work worth doing,” and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve Placer County in that capacity. “
Christenson holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University in New York and a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. She grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, has a daughter in college, and lives in Roseville. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with family.