Los Angeles County CEO Sachi A. Hamai announced Tuesday she will retire early next year.
Hamai has been the county’s top executive since 2015.
Supervisor Janice Hahn, who chairs the county Board of Supervisors, said Hamai planned to leave in February.
“Sachi Hamai has been a force in the county,” Hahn said in a statement. “As CEO, she balanced the county’s $36.1 billion budget, helped us earn (the county’s) highest credit rating in history, and oversaw the implementation of Measure H. She has been a champion for women in leadership roles and has set an invaluable example as the county’s first ever Asian-American woman CEO.”
The February departure gives the county little time to choose Hamai’s replacement for a job overseeing roughly 113,000 employees and a budget larger than that of many states.
Hamai, who has worked for the county for 31 years, offered no reason for her decision to retire now, instead highlighting the county’s strong financial position and her belief that she left things better than she found them.
“It’s been the greatest honor of my life to serve Los Angeles County and its residents,” Hamai said in a statement. “The county confronts some of society’s toughest issues every day, often on behalf of people who have nowhere else to turn. I believe I am leaving the county in better shape than when I started. Our fiscal foundation is strong and our departments have broken out of their silos and are working together in ways no one could have imagined in years past.”
She noted that there is much work ahead, particularly in the area of homelessness, but said “I am proud to have moved the county forward and positioned it to meet current and future challenges.”
Hamai has worked with the county since 1988, serving in various departments before becoming the executive officer for the Board of Supervisors in 2006, interim CEO in 2014 and CEO in 2015.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger said she and Hamai worked their way up the ranks together.
“This is bittersweet. While I am sad to see her leave, I am happy for Sachi as she begins the next chapter of her life,” Barger said in a statement. “In addition to being a very effective CEO, Sachi has been a friend and colleague whose career runs parallel to mine. She worked her way up through the ranks of county government to the CEO’s office, where her strong leadership and sound fiscal policies have given the county a series of balanced budgets — and the highest possible bond rating. She leaves behind a long, honorable legacy of service, fond memories and big shoes to fill.”