Cherokee Nation Businesses Placed CEO on Administrative Leave


The Cherokee Nation Businesses (CNB) board voted unanimously on March 2 to put its CEO David Stewart on administrative leave for 30 days, effective immediately, reported the Cherokee Phoenix.

CNB Executive Vice President Shawn Slaton has filled in as interim CEO.

According to CNB Chairman Harold Ray Hart, the decision to temporarily remove Stewart from his position will buy lawyers time to reach an agreement. Hart did not specify what the agreement concerned.

Stewart assumed the role of CNB CEO in December 2008, when Brad Carson stepped down. In Stewart's first role with the Cherokee Nation in 2001, he served as CEO of Cherokee Nation Industries (CNI). The Stilwell, Oklahoma-based CNI has operated as a government contractor, manufacturing and distributing aerospace and defense products since 1969.

On May 15, 2002, Stewart moved on to lead Cherokee Nation Enterprises, now Cherokee Nation Entertainment (CNE). As CEO, he oversaw the tribe's gaming, hospitality and entertainment enterprises. Under his helm, CNE experienced tremendous growth, according to his bio. He also played a pivotal role in negotiating the tribe's gaming compact with the state.