The state of Nebraska's former chief human resources officer has taken a lower position and been replaced.

Responding to questions from the Journal Star, a spokesman for Gov. Pete Ricketts said Sharon Pettid made a personal decision to take a role with less responsibility at the state Department of Administrative Services. 

Her successor, Jason Jackson, is an attorney and U.S. Navy veteran who formerly led the human resources team at Intuit, a California-based software company that developed applications such as TurboTax, QuickBooks and Quicken.

He has also served as vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of San Diego.

Jackson started in Nebraska on Monday. His annual salary is $127,000, said Taylor Gage, the governor's spokesman.

Ricketts called Jackson a talented addition to his team.

"His service will play an important role in helping develop the talent in state government, making the state of Nebraska a place people want to work, and continuing my efforts to make state government work for the people of Nebraska," the governor said in an email.

Ricketts created the HR chief position — one of the highest ranking in state government — shortly after becoming governor, and hired Pettid to fill the role.

Gage described her s new role as "special projects." She'll make $100,000 a year, down from $120,000 in her previous position.

"Over the past year, Sharon has helped drive culture change in my cabinet, helped break down silos in state government, and assisted with recruiting key talent," Ricketts said in a statement. "Her skills and expertise will be greatly missed in my office, but she will continue to be a valued part of the state as she works on special projects."

The change comes three months after a shakeup in which Ricketts brought longtime adviser Jessica Flanagain into the governor's office and transitioned former state chief operating officer Felix Davidson into a part-time role.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7234 or zpluhacek@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @zachamiLJS.

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Assistant city editor

Zach Pluhacek is an assistant city editor.

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