Invest Nova Scotia Executive Chair Tom Hickey has resigned, citing other professional commitments, mere weeks after his appointment to helm the new amalgamation of Innovacorp and Nova Scotia Business Inc.

Progressive Conservative Premier Tim Houston announced the creation of Invest Nova Scotia last month as the provincial government looks to address what it describes as “overlapping mandates, duplicate operations, outdated legislation and arm’s-length boards making decisions involving millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money.”

Hickey, CEO of paving company Atlantic Road Construction, was meant to replace the boards of directors for both Innovacorp and NSBI. The province has not announced who will formally replace Hickey in turn, but in the meantime, Invest Nova Scotia will answer to Minister of Economic Development Susan Corkum-Greek and her department.

NSBI was previously the provincial economic development agency, whose services included the Export Development Program and the Scale-Up Hubs in Atlanta and Cambridge, Mass.

And Innovacorp was a venture capital crown corporation with a portfolio heavy on deep tech investments, which also provided incubation space and non-dilutive funding for early-stage startups.

Corkum-Greek told the CBC in an interview that Hickey resigned because the time commitment required by his role at Invest Nova Scotia was coming into conflict with other obligations, including a company he is in the process of buying.

A native of Cape Breton, Hickey is a long-time investor and has backed such Halifax-area startups as Bright (formerly Cribcut). He also sits on the advisory board of 7th Wave Capital

“Public service, in all of its forms, requires great sacrifice from those who take on the challenge, and I appreciate Mr. Hickey’s candour in assessing his capacity to make the sacrifices necessary to provide the level of attention that Invest Nova Scotia requires,” said Houston in a statement.