Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Port of LB Interim CFO Quits

By Mark Edward Nero

Thomas Franklin, who was named interim Chief Financial Officer at the Port of Long Beach just last month, is resigning to join the port’s former CFO at Los Angeles-based commuter rail system Metrolink. His exit continues what has been a yearlong exodus of upper managers at the port.

Franklin said April 7 that he’s accepted a position as Metrolink’s comptroller and will depart his current role later this month. In his new job, he’ll report to former POLB CFO Sam Joumblat, who was named Metrolink’s CFO in February after six years with the port.

Franklin had been Joumblat’s assistant at the port since 2009. His departure is just the latest in a string of exits by Long Beach managers over the past year, the most significant of which was the resignation of then-Executive Director Chris Lytle in May 2013 to take the same role – but with higher pay – at the smaller Port of Oakland.

In addition, the positions of Deputy Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer, Managing Director of Trade Development & Port Operations, Director of Construction Management, Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Chief Finance Officer have all come open over the past year, some of which, but not all, have been filled.

Last month, Doug Albrecht, the port’s director of information management, announced his retirement, and port maintenance director Randy Rich announced he was also leaving.

Additionally, two seats on the port’s Board of Harbor Commissioners came open last November after the Long Beach City Council fired then-board President Thomas Fields and Vice President Nick Sramek resigned. One seat was filled in early December by Lori Ann Farrell, a former Chief Financial Officer for the City of Long Beach, but the seat formerly occupied by Fields currently remains vacant.