Westchester County's economic development czar, Larry Gottlieb, is leaving his job to become president of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp., a private nonprofit.

"This was not an easy decision," Gottlieb said in a statement. "I take great pride in the work the Office of Economic Development has accomplished under the leadership of County Executive [Rob] Astorino. It has been an incredible pleasure working alongside some of the finest professionals in his administration."

The new position will allow Gottlieb to build on his Westchester County experience and expand his work, said Marsha Gordon, president of the Business Council of Westchester.

The New Windsor-based Hudson Valley Economic Development Corp. serves as a clearinghouse for businesses seeking to expand or open new ventures in the region's seven counties.

"Larry Gottlieb has done an incredible job in Westchester. He's had an innovative approach. He's had incredible results," Gordon said. "To have him leading economic development in the Hudson Valley, which includes Westchester, is an added benefit to the region."

Gottlieb has served as the director of the county's Office of Economic Development since 2010, when he was appointed by Astorino.

"Our loss is the region's gain," Astorino said in a statement. "Businesses large and small benefited from Larry's expertise and energy, which helped them grow even in challenging economic times."

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Astorino credited Gottlieb with attracting nearly $500 million in private capital to Westchester County, funding that retained or created 9,000 permanent positions and 2,000 construction jobs. Among the projects that contributed to that sum was the rebuilding of PepsiCo's world headquarters in Purchase, the county executive's statement said.

Gordon credited Gottlieb with embracing new marketing brands for the county, dubbing it "New York's Intellectual Capital" and helping to establish BioHud Valley, a coalition to expand and attract biotech to the region. That strategy that has fueled prosperity in Boston and North Carolina's so-called Research Triangle in the Raleigh-Durham area.

"Larry really brings to this position his perspective of building on the economic development clusters in the Hudson Valley," Gordon said. "It just expands the regional identity."

Gottlieb is scheduled to leave his $155,000-a-year position Feb. 15. Eileen Mildenberger, executive director of the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency, will serve as an interim director of the Office of Economic Development until a permanent director is hired, Astorino's statement said.