COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Governor Henry McMaster announced Thursday that he has nominated longtime South Carolina business executive Harry M. Lightsey III to serve as the next secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce.
Lightsey will succeed Bobby Hitt, who is retiring in the fall.
“Harry Lightsey has been a fixture in South Carolina’s business community for decades, and I’m confident that with the vast experience he will be bringing to the Department of Commerce, South Carolina will keep winning,” said Gov. Henry McMaster.
Lightsey served in top executive leadership roles for major corporations in South Carolina and across the nation. He has served as the President of BellSouth Telecommunications for South Carolina prior to their merger with AT&T, afterward becoming President for AT&T’s Southeast region, according to the governor’s office.
Following his 26 years in the telecommunications industry, Lightsey joined the General Motors Corporation where he directed the legacy automaker’s federal government affairs operation, as well as their emerging technologies, OnStar and infotainment divisions.
“It would be my distinct honor and privilege to have the opportunity to serve as South Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce,” said Harry Lightsey. “In addition to bringing new businesses into our state, I believe we have a role to play in helping our established businesses thrive and transform when necessary.”
The governor’s office said Hitt’s time as Secretary of Commerce, South Carolina has announced 1,141 projects, 129,373 new jobs, and over $35.8 billion in capital investment, including three new automotive manufacturers – Volvo Cars, Mercedes Benz-Vans, and Arrival.
Secretary Hitt will continue to service in his current capacity until Lightsey’s nomination is confirmed by the South Carolina Senate.