Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Seattle Port Picks Next CEO

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Seattle Commission has selected the port’s next CEO. Ted Fick, a Tacoma native with decades of experience leading manufacturing organizations across the country, was chosen to take the helm when current CEO Tay Yoshitani retires next month.

“Ted has the right combination of skills and dynamic leadership to help the Port of Seattle thrive in the globally competitive environment ports face today,” Port Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire said in a statement announcing the move. “He brings the fresh perspective and breadth of experience we need to help our region generate new jobs and economic growth.”

Fick has over 25 years of leadership experience in major manufacturing and transportation organizations – including oversight of international operations. He spent many years working in the Puget Sound region’s manufacturing and industrial community, beginning at his family’s Tacoma-based company, Fick Foundry. He then spent many years at PACCAR, one of the Pacific Northwest’s primary manufacturers holding leadership positions in both PACCAR and their division Kenworth.

He left the Pacific Northwest in 2000, and has since held multiple leadership positions in transportation and manufacturing companies. Most recently, he served as CEO of Polar Corp., a $475 million trailer and component parts manufacturer in Minnesota. In that job, he oversaw three operating divisions, multiple manufacturing plants and a workforce of over 2,000 represented and non-represented employees.

“Ted’s experience across multiple facets of the supply chain, coupled with an ability to manage organizations through growth and change, make him the right leader at the right time,” Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman said.

Commissioners must vote on Fick’s appointment in public session; the vote’s scheduled for their next meeting, on Sept. 11, when Fick will be introduced to the community.

Fick is expected to begin work at the port Sept. 29, 2014.

“I am honored to join the Port of Seattle, an organization I’ve depended on, worked with and admired throughout my career,” Fick said in a statement. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the highly-skilled team of people that keep the port humming every day, and I can’t wait to join them as we work together to generate 100,000 more jobs for the Puget Sound region.”

The Commission began a nationwide search for a new CEO in early 2014. Current CEO Tay Yoshitani, who joined the port in 2007, retires Sept. 30, 2014.​