Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s communications director, Peter Ajemian, has resigned from his position and his last day was on Friday.
Rich Azzopardi, the governor's longtime chief advisor, will be replacing him and taking on a double role as communications director and chief advisor.
"After nearly four years, and with this year's budget done and vaccine eligibility open to everyone, I decided now is the time to pursue opportunities in the private sector," Ajemian said in a statement. "I’m grateful to the governor for giving me the chance to serve. It's been the honor of a lifetime to be part of a team working for New Yorkers in a period of unprecedented crisis and seeing the government work for the people and people work for each other."
"Peter has spent nearly four years in the administration taking on the hard challenges during even harder circumstances," Azzopardi said in a statement. "There’s nobody I’d rather be in the trenches with and know he’ll always be a part of Team Cuomo."
Ajeman joins a growing list of departures from Cuomo’s office.
At least nine former aides have left the administration over the past few months. This includes Gareth Rhodes, who was part of Cuomo’s COVID-19 task force, Caitlin Girouard, Cuomo’s press secretary and most recently, Jack Sterne, a Cuomo spokesman.
Cuomo’s office announced on Friday other major shakeups to the administration.
Dana Carotenuto has now been appointed Cuomo’s chief of staff, leaving her position as deputy secretary for legislative affairs and policy in the administration. She also formerly served as chief of staff for the Senate Independent Democratic Conference.
Jennifer Givner has been appointed acting press secretary. She also serves as director of media relations and communications for the New York State Thruway Authority.
Haley Viccaro has also now been appointed deputy communications director for energy and the environment. Viccaro just recently left her position as communications director for Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul to cross over to Cuomo’s administration.