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New Chief Operations Officer named

The University of Utah has named longtime financial and operations executive Jeff Labrum its new Chief Operating Officer. Labrum, currently serving as a special assistant to President Taylor Randall, will assume the COO position on Nov. 1.

“I’m excited to have an experienced and innovative leader like Jeff Labrum guiding our business operations and financial services as we embark on a bold plan for strategic academic and research growth and increased impact for good in our community,” said Randall. “He has the expertise and creativity to help turn our vision and goals into concrete reality.”

In his new role, Labrum will have oversight of Auxiliary Services, the Real Estate Administration Office and Office of Facility Resources. He also will serve as the Athletics liaison for the President’s Office.

With more than 25 years of experience in accounting and in key roles running companies, Labrum will lead the university’s operations at a time of growth and increased complexity, including boosting student enrollment to 40,000, building another 6,000 student beds on campus, expanding into Fort Douglas and reimagining Research Park.

“This is an incredible time to be working at the U, as we plan for a period of unprecedented growth in support of the president’s bold vision,” Labrum said. “I look forward to helping to guide our future growth with an eye toward fiscal stewardship, sustainability and innovation.”

A two-time U alum, with a bachelor of arts degree in accounting and an MBA, Labrum started his career at Big 4 accounting firm KPMG. After spending years at Magnesium Corporation of America and Chipper Snax, he founded startup software company Lingotek, Inc., a Saas enterprise translation software platform in 2006. Labrum sold the company in January 2021 before joining the acquirer Straker Group as its U.S. general manager. He joined the U in 2023 as a special advisor to the president.

Labrum takes over his areas of responsibility from Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administrative Services Cathy Anderson. The two will be working closely together to coordinate university administrative operations, Labrum said.