News Release - 2000 - James E. Speed Named New Executive Director of the Board of Equalization

NR# 3-G
Date: January 7, 2000
Customer and Taxpayer Services Division

James E. Speed Named New Executive Director of the Board of Equalization

Dean Andal, Chairman, State Board of Equalization, announced today the appointment of James E. Speed, Deputy Director of the Board's Sales and Use Tax Department, as the Board's new Executive Director. The appointment was made by the Board Members at a meeting in Sacramento on Thursday and becomes effective on March 18, 2000.

"I'm pleased that we have such an outstanding employee to replace Les Sorensen, who has provided such excellent leadership to the Board," said Andal. "Clearly, we could not have found a better qualified candidate than Jim Speed."

Speed, 53, a 28-year veteran of the Board and a Folsom resident, will replace E. L. (Les) Sorensen Jr., who will officially retire on March 17, 2000. Sorensen retires after serving California for 27 years. He joined the Board's Legal Division in 1973 and was appointed Chief Counsel in April 1990. In 1996, he became the Board's Executive Director.

A native of San Francisco, Speed served in the United States Navy and graduated from San Francisco State University in 1971 with a degree in accounting. He began his career with the Board as an auditor in the San Francisco District Office and after working in various positions, he became the District Administrator. In February 1993, Speed was appointed Chief of Field Operations for the Sales and Use Tax Department and served as the Deputy Director of the Property Tax Department from January 1996 through August 1997. Jim and his wife Marion have been married 32 years and have two sons.

The Board of Equalization, with approximately 4000 employees, collects sales and use, tobacco, fuel, and other taxes from more than one million registered businesses. In addition to administrating key revenue programs, the Board acts as the appellate body for franchise and income tax appeals and oversees the functions of county assessors.