E. Norris Tolson, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Revenue, could be the next chief executive officer of the North Caroline Biotechnology Center.

TechJournal South Editor Allan Maurer reported Tuesday that Tolson was the choice. He cited “sources close” to the Center.

Barry Teater, who directs public relations for the Biotech Center, declined to confirm or deny the report.

“Rumors typically swirl around a vacant position, but the Biotechnology Center doesn’t comment on rumors,” Teater said in a statement. “Our board of directors is responsible for hiring a president, and the board has not yet done so. When the board does hire a president, the Biotechnology Center will share the good news with everyone as quickly as possible.”

“That’s all we can say,” Teater added.

Leslie Alexandre resigned as the Biotech Center’s CEO in March. The Center has been conducting a nationwide search for a replacement.

Tolson is already quite familiar with the Center and its operations since he is vice chair of its board of directors.

Tolson took the Revenue post in March of 2001. He also has served as Department of Transportation secretary and as N.C. Commerce secretary. He served in the N.C. House from 1994-1997, representing parts of Nash, Edgecombe, Pitt and Wilson counties.

A native of Edgecombe County, Tolson worked for Dupont from 1965-1993. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned a degree in crop science and agribusiness. An Army veteran, Tolson served in counter intelligence from 1963-1965.