Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman appointed a new second-in-command Wednesday, saying the Philadelphia School District's current management structure no longer works for her.

Ackerman tapped Leroy Nunery, a former vice president at the University of Pennsylvania and an Edison Schools Inc. executive who two years ago was a finalist for her own job, as deputy superintendent.

"I have more than 20 people reporting to me directly," Ackerman said. "It kept me in the day-to-day in a way that I felt wasn't effective."

Her job had been keeping her out of schools and communities, she said, and Nunery's appointment will help fix that.

The district previously had a deputy superintendent, but never under Ackerman, who came to Philadelphia two years ago.

Ackerman and Nunery have not decided who will continue to report to her and who will answer to him.

More leadership changes are expected, but Ackerman said she wanted to take a few weeks and consult with Nunery before deciding on them.

The appointment of Nunery, 54, is effective immediately. He is now paid $180,000 as the district's chief of institutional advancement and strategic partnerships. Asked whether his salary would change, Ackerman said, "We haven't had a chance to talk about that yet."

Mayor Nutter applauded Nunery's appointment.

"It is a great pleasure to be here in support of this very important new position and decision made by Superintendent Ackerman with the support" of the School Reform Commission, he said at the meeting Wednesday.

Nunery said he would emphasize "efficiency and effectiveness across the district."

The duties of his old job will be absorbed into the new position.

Contact staff writer Kristen Graham at 215-854-5146 or kgraham@phillynews.com.