Minnesota DEED commissioner to head Star Tribune

Gov. Tim Walz noted Steve Grove's role in overseeing $15 billion in unemployment payments and $300 million in emergency aid to businesses during the pandemic. Grove was previously a Google executive.

Steve Grove.JPG
Steve Grove

MINNEAPOLIS — Steve Grove, a former Google executive who has headed the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development under Gov. Tim Walz since 2019, is leaving his government post for a new role as publisher and CEO of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

In statements announcing the departure Tuesday, Feb. 14, Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan noted the departing commissioner's role in overseeing $15 billion in unemployment payments and $300 million in emergency aid to small businesses during the pandemic. They also highlighted Grove's role in developing a 10-year road map for Minnesota's economic future with the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion.


“Minnesota’s economy is rich with a nationally renowned workforce and an entrepreneurial business community that has brought so much opportunity to our state," Grove said in a news release. "The people and businesses I’ve worked with in my time as Commissioner give me great confidence in the future of Minnesota."

Walz, a Democrat, also noted Grove's efforts to expand access to child care and rural broadband through grant programs, as well as the departing commissioner's commitment to putting equity at the center of DEED's efforts. In the last four years, the agency has quadrupled the amount of money it gives to People of Color and has set new goals to track equity metrics in different divisions, the Walz administration said.

As Minnesota's economic development agency, DEED aims to promote the creation of jobs and a well-trained workforce and administers the state's unemployment insurance program. It publishes regular reports on the state of Minnesota's workforce, including unemployment numbers and workforce participation rates.


Before joining DEED, Grove was a Google executive for 12 years, where he was the founding director of the Google News Lab, a division of the company that partners with newsrooms to help drive innovation in the news industry. In a Star Tribune article announcing Grove's hiring , newspaper owner Glenn Taylor said he hoped to bring in someone from outside with a "new view" to help drive up digital subscriptions.

Grove, a native of Northfield, Minnesota, will step down as commissioner March 2, at which point Deputy Commissioner Kevin McKinnon will take the reins until the governor appoints a permanent successor. Grove will start his new position at the Star Tribune in April.

The Walz administration is taking applications for next DEED commissioner until March 7.

Follow Alex Derosier on Twitter @xanderosier or email .

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Alex Derosier covers Minnesota breaking news and state government for Forum News Service.
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