Originally, Gov. McDonnell wanted Sledd to serve as Secretary of Commerce and Trade. Sledd is a successful businessman who sits on multiple corporate boards. The Democrat controled Virginia Senate opposed Sledd's nomination due to, what Senate Democrats called, a conflict of interest.
In light of the Senate's inability to confirm Sledd, the choice deputy secretary of commerce and trade has been promoted to the Secretary spot and is generally seen to be an easy confirmation. Gov. Bob McDonnell is quoted as saying that the solution was, "win-win," for the commonwealth, but was disappointed about how the matter played out.