The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected to appoint an interim CEO to the Port of Long Beach (POLB) tomorrow, the port announced today, set to temporarily replace CEO Jon Slangerup, who announced his resignation earlier this month.
The board will officially appoint Duane Kenagy, P.E. tomorrow at a special meeting on Wednesday, September 21. Kenagy currently works as the capital programs executive for the port, overseeing the largest infrastructure investment ($4.5 million) of any port in the nation, according to a release.
“The Board is extremely pleased to have Duane Kenagy serve as our Interim CEO," said Lori Ann Guzmán, president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, in a statement. He is highly respected by all of the Commissioners, very well regarded in our industry, and well-liked by the Port staff. Duane will lead the Port of Long Beach on a steady path forward as the search begins for a permanent Chief Executive."
Kenagy has more than 35 years of engineering and design project management experience, in a domestic and international capacity, according to the port. Since joining the port in 2014, the same year Slangerup was appointed, Kenagy has overseen the replacement of the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge and the redevelopment of the Middle Harbor Container Terminal, each budgeted at nearly $1.5 billion.
“I’m looking forward to working with the Board of Harbor Commissioners, our tenants and customers, and the talented team here at the Port of Long Beach to continue our strong tradition of service and innovation,” said Kenagy in a statement. “I am fully committed to helping this great organization transition to the new Chief Executive at the conclusion of the Board’s search.”
Kenagy worked at the international engineering consulting firm Moffatt & Nichol before working for the port.
Kenagy’s salary is a proposed $275,000, with his duties slated to begin next week. Both he and the commission said he will not be a candidate for the permanent CEO replacement position.
The port will issue a Request for Proposals this week for an independent firm to conduct a search for the next CEO.
“We are committed to carrying out a thorough, professional, and transparent global search for our next CEO,” said Guzmán in a statement.
Slangerup’s resignation came on September 8, after he accepted a position as chairman and CEO of an aviation technology firm, a job he will begin on October 31, 2016, according to a release issued today. He was known for his upbeat energy and composure in the midst of the 2015 congestion that impacted the San Pedro Bay port complex and the national goods movement network, making national headlines.
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia called Slangerup an “outstanding” leader who improved efficiency and reduced emissions and congestion at the port.
“He has fostered an excellent working relationship between the Harbor Department and City Hall, as well as with the community, and played an instrumental role in bringing the new Port headquarters to the new Civic Center complex,” said Garcia in a statement. “Jon will be missed, and I personally developed a great working relationship and a friendship. On behalf of the city, I wish him the best in his next endeavors, and we are very grateful for his contributions over the past two years."