LONG BEACH » Former FedEx Canada President Jon Slangerup will run the Port of Long Beach as executive director, officials announced Thursday.
A special meeting will be held Monday to confirm the appointment of Slangerup, whose experience in global logistics and environmental technology made him the top candidate to lead “The Green Port,” officials said. He is expected to start as early as next week.
“He’s an extremely capable leader, proven team builder and expert at managing a world-class organization,” board President Doug Drummond said in a statement. “In our highly competitive, quickly changing industry challenged by major environmental and energy issues, he’s the perfect person for the job.”
The Board of Harbor Commissioners decided on Slangerup in a closed-session meeting June 23 after an extensive national search. Slangerup will earn $350,000 to oversee a staff of about 490 full-time Harbor Department employees and a projected $858 million budget.
He also will be managing the nation’s second-busiest seaport, which handles more than $180 billion in trade annually and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs regionally.
Slangerup replaces Christopher Lytle, who left almost a year ago to lead the Port of Oakland.
Before coming to Long Beach, Slangerup had headed public and private firms ranging from tech startups to corporations such as FedEx, where he served for seven years as president of FedEx Canada. He had been with the company for 20 years.
There he is credited for turning “a small regional domestic courier operation into Canada’s leading international express logistics company,” according to the port.
Slangerup, who graduated with honors and a bachelor’s degree in aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a master’s degree in business administration from Kennedy-Western University, has helmed tech firms that brings to market products in the realm of industrial software, alternative fuels, renewable energy, distributed generation and water treatment, according to his biography.
“I am extremely pleased to be joining the Port of Long Beach team, which has a long and distinguished record of operational excellence, technological innovation and environmental stewardship,” Slangerup said in a statement. “The Port of Long Beach is investing billions of dollars in advanced technology and infrastructure development, and I look forward to working with our team to flawlessly execute our capital plans and deliver exceptional value to our customers and community stakeholders to ensure the continued growth and expansion of our Port.”
John McLaurin, president of Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, congratulated Slangerup on his appointment.
“We look forward to working closely with him to address the unique challenges and opportunities faced by the port,” McLaurin said.
Mayor Bob Foster said he liked the idea of someone with logistics and private sector experience and added that Slangerup has a reputation for being “a turnaround guy.”
Slangerup’s biggest challenge will be handling the port’s extensive construction projects and keeping them on budget, Foster said. The port is in the middle of a 10-year, $4.5 billion capital projects program.
Earlier this week, port officials announced that completion of the bridge to replace the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge will be delayed by more than a year because of design engineering issues, which will likely drive up the cost of the hefty $1.263 billion project.
Slangerup’s confirmation will take place at 6 p.m. in the Harbor Department’s interim headquarters, 4801 Airport Plaza Drive.
Contact Karen Robes Meeks at 562-714-2088.