US- Chief executive of the $150 CalPERS pension fund James Burton is leaving the post this autumn after seven and a half years in order pursue a career outside of public service.

His departure ends a 27-year career with the State of California. Since becoming CEO in 1994, the pension fund has nearly doubled in size from $78 billion to its present value of $150 billion.

Says Burton: "it’s time for me to move on to a new professional challenge. I am announcing my planned departure at this early date so that I may assist the Board with CEO recruitment and transition. One of my goals has been to help build an organization that is not dependent on any single person.

“I am confident that we have built a foundation of solid business processes and team leadership that will continue to provide outstanding service to members and employers."

William Crist, President of the board of administration says: "his departure leaves a large void, which will be challenging to fill." Crist says they will appoint a subcommittee of the board to begin work on finding a replacement

CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the US providing retirement and health benefits to more than 1.3 million state and local public employees.