David Stewart

Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC announced that it has finalized a mutually agreed upon separation agreement with former Chief Executive Officer David Stewart.

Under the agreement, Stewart will be paid $2,675,000. The amount of compensation was reached after exhaustive review of Stewart’s agreements reached with the previous chief and the former CNB board of directors.

“Attorneys for the Nation and for CNB determined that the new board is contractually obligated to pay the former CEO $2,675,000,” said Sam Hart, CNB Board of Directors chairman. “The CNB Board of Directors is obligated to honor the agreements made by the previous board which was appointed by the former chief, Chad Smith. In the future, we will be more prudent with the Cherokee people’s money while maximizing the investments in our personnel and our businesses.”

An extensive search for a new CEO will begin immediately.

Cherokee Nation Businesses is wholly owned by the Cherokee Nation, investing 100 percent of its profits into tribal services or job creation initiatives. The company employs more than 4,500 people in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, and posted revenues in excess of $600 million in 2011. Together, the Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses have more than a $1 billion economic impact on northeast Oklahoma.