The Port of Portland Commission has approved the appointment of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s chief of staff to a newly created position as the port’s deputy executive director.
Curtis Robinhold, whom the nine-member port commission accepted for the job Dec. 11, was nominated to the job by port Executive Director Bill Wyatt.
The position was never announced by the port, and no search to fill it was conducted.
Wyatt, who also once held the position of Kitzhaber’s chief of staff, told The Oregonian newspaper that the appointment is part of a long-term succession plan, although he doesn’t have plans to retire yet.
“I proposed Curtis to the officers after discussing this with them because I thought he was the ideal candidate,” Wyatt, 63, told the newspaper.
Wyatt, who makes $382,950 annually, was Kitzhaber’s chief of staff in the 1990s before coming to the port 12 years ago.
Robinhold, 45, became Kitzhaber’s chief of staff in 2011. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Portland-based energy efficiency finance company Energy Resource Management Corp. He was also managing director of thermal power for BP Alternative Energy in London.
Robinhold, who is expected to start at the port in early 2014, is set to initially make $285,000 a year in his new position. Kitzhaber’s office announced in mid-November that Robinhold would be leaving to take the port job.