Andrew Kean, the city of Chattanooga's first chief operating officer under Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, has landed a job in the private sector at Chattanooga Whiskey and the Tennessee Stillhouse.

The 33-year-old Kean will take over as president of Chattanooga Whiskey on Dec. 2. He previously served as Berke's top staff official for just six months, during which time Kean worked to reorganize the city's budget and departments. In his resignation letter a month ago, Kean said the "responsibility of a young family does not coincide with the demanding schedule and rigorous nature of this position." Kean said he missed "many aspects of working in the private sector."

Today, he's far more upbeat as he prepares to take the executive reins from co-founders Tim Piersant and Joe Ledbetter, both of whom will remain at the company they created in 2011. Piersant and Ledbetter spent the last year raising millions of dollars from local investors to expand the company, and Kean's hiring is a signal that they're serious.

"This opportunity puts me squarely on the front lines of building a business," Kean said. "I'm excited to join a small group of extremely talented people, putting our different skills together and continuing to build another success story for our city."

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