Seaports Magazine - Winter 2014 - (Page 16)
THE PORT EXECUTIVE
As the industry is shifting to become more privatized and profit-focused,
ports are looking for executives with a specific set of skills
By Sarah Sain
n the past few years, there has been a sea change happening at the port executive management level. As
ports around the world become increasingly focused
on profit, and as many organizations outside the U.S.
undergo privatization, the skills required for leaders at the top
level of a port are continually shifting.
"Whether ports in the U.S. go toward privatization as the
rest of the world has or not, you're going to need people at the
top with backgrounds in asset management, who are profit
and loss-focused, customer-centric and outgoing," said Tim
McNamara, managing partner with Boyden Global Search.
McNamara noted in a column in the Spring 2014 issue of
Seaports that the public sector has experienced greater openness in seeking out non-traditional candidates for executive
positions. "In the private sector, clients are more willing to take
risks and look outside the box to aggressively pursue senior-level
talent," he continued.
Seaport hires in the U.S. over the past couple years are
examples of this. Executives at Oakland, Norfolk, Tampa and
Seattle hail from outside the port sector, but they have strong
shipping and business backgrounds.
"The common thread is these individuals have a wide range
of control responsibilities, significant P&L experience, international experience, and all have had a lot of client and customer
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interface. That's the new mold," McNamara
In July 2013, Jacksonville Port Authority
named Brian Taylor its new CEO. A former shipping executive with Horizon Lines,
he had more than three decades of sales
and operations experience, which he says
gave him a distinct advantage coming into
"I had been with ocean carriers for 30
years, and I know what the priorities are for
them on deployment decisions. I've worked
with the cargo owners, I know them and
how they think about supply chain perspectives. I've worked with the players
before coming into this job, so now I have
the opportunity to bring all those views
together and utilize those relationships,"
When the Port of Los Angeles named
Gene Seroka, also a veteran of the shipping
industry, as its executive director in June
2014, it gained a leader with more than
25 years of maritime experience. Seroka
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Winter 2014
From the President’s Desk
What Will Ports Look Like in the Future?
Opportunities Abound for Ports Amid Shifting Trade Lanes
The Port Executive of the Future
Port of Houston Hosts Seaport Leaders for AAPA’S Annual Convention
Always Striving for Excellence
U.S. Must Continue to Strengthen Port and Waterways Infrastructure
Winners Honored in AAPA’s 2014 IT, Environmental Improvement and Communications Awards Programs
Keeping your Cyber Systems Healthy Now and in the Future
Why You Should Love Your Local Environmentalist
U.S. Needs to Play ‘Catch Up’ on Infrastructure Investment
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Winter 2014
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