Tennessee Gov. Lee appoints CEO for Memphis megasite

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee on Wednesday appointed Clay Bright to serve as CEO of the Memphis Regional Megasite industrial complex, which will soon be home to a Ford electric vehicle and battery plant.

Bright currently serves as the commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. He is slated to earn $175,000 a year in his new position, which involves working with a newly formed board of directors known as the Megasite Authority to oversee the buildout of the site.

Last month, Ford Motor Co. and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation revealed plans for a $5.6 billion campus to build electric F-Series pickup trucks at the megasite about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of Memphis, near the small town of Stanton in rural Haywood County.

However, in order for the plant to launch, Tennessee must finish building out of the megasite. Tennessee’s General Assembly signed off on a nearly $900 million incentive package to make that happen last week.

Bright was appointed as transportation commissioner by Lee in 2019. He previously spent nearly 40 years with construction firm Brasfield & Gorrie. He was involved in the development of Nashville’s Bridgestone Tower, the expansion of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the city’s iconic AT&T building.

“The Megasite Authority will ensure the success of this historic project, and Clay brings the dedication and expertise needed to lead that group,” Lee said in a statement.