Councillor Craig Humphrey said he has taken his new £70,000-a-year job because he is “motivated by the challenge, not the salary”.
His new position as managing director will see him take a leading role in the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s City Deal. He will be in charge of the Clearing House, offering advice to businesses.
Cllr Humphrey is on the partnership board but insisted he had not been involved with Clearing House since it was launched in April.
He said: “I worked closely with Louise Bennett from the Chamber of Commerce to put together a team of people and then I stepped back.
“Since it went ‘live’ in April I haven’t been involved.
“But after seeing it I thought it was really interesting and a huge opportunity.”
Cllr Humphrey has been the leader of the council for 12 years. He took on an “enhanced leader” role in 2010 when the council decided not to replace its chief executive.
Cllr Humphrey said he felt re-energised since the appointment.
“When you are in public office the personal attacks become tiresome after a number of years.
“I feel alive again and ready for a new challenge.
“I’m really embracing the opportunities that are out there and I feel good about the future.”
Speaking of his personal life, the Bilton ward councillor said: “You have ex-partners who become embittered and because you’re a public figure you’re a target.
“I’ve kept my head down and tried to keep doing what I think is right.”
He will resign as both leader of the council and councillor on August 31.
Cllr Derek Poole will assume the leader’s responsibilities in the interim.
Speaking of the council’s future, Cllr Humphrey said: “I don’t think there will be a leadership battle, I can’t categorically say there won’t be but what I’d like to see is a ‘care taker leader’ come in until May. It’s a short-term solution that will provide stability.”
The position of leader of the council is appointed by the full council which will meet on September 23 unless a special meeting is called.
Once Cllr Humphrey has resigned on August 31, a by-election will be called if requested by two or more electors from Bilton.