Dave Grant, deputy director of the state's Department of Economic Development, has resigned to find a job in the private sector.

Gov. Norm Bangerter said Grant is responsible for "visionary" work that will benefit the state's economy for years.Grant started programs to help companies obtain federal contracts and universities turn new technologies into profitable businesses. He will remain until March 1 to help with the Legislature.

In his state government post, Grant was outspoken and controversial. Some developers likened him to a bull in a china shop, a loose cannon who could be counted on to say the wrong thing.

But supporters praised his intelligence, saying as a development outsider, he wasn't afraid to ask the right questions, and that he brought a fresh look to the department.

Grant was the founder of Avatar Systems, a computer software company that developed advanced information systems for libraries, and of SITAR Inc. He was also was president and director of Sterling Wentworth Corp.

He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah in mathematics and earned a master's degree in finance from the U., graduating first in his class.