Search on for new port boss

| 25/03/2015 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service

George Town Harbour

(CNS): The Port Authority has begun the search for a new director for the George Town cargo and cruise facility and has revealed that they are searching for a “strategic leader” and “an ambassador” for Cayman, not necessarily a port expert. The board chair said the experience and technical skills required to manage operations are covered within the existing staff, so they will be looking for someone who can help with the growth, development and profitability objectives at the port as well as carry out its strategic vision, mission and values. The recruitment process, which being managed by consultants Deloitte, began this week and comes following news that Paul Hurlston, the former director for some 14 years, had been placed on leave and his contract would not be renewed.

In a release, the port board said the requirements of the role have been evaluated and enhanced to identify a candidate that will do more than manage the facility. Officials said the Port Authority is currently undergoing an organizational performance evaluation to identify opportunities for efficiency to facilitate growth, development and overall profitability.

“We are fortunate to have a large number of long-serving, dedicated employees that possess strong, technical skill sets within the port and now what we are looking for is a strategic leader,” said Chairman of the Board, Errol Bush.  “The board members are committed to identifying the best candidate to fulfill this important role and lead the PACI forward.”

While port operations experience is preferred, it is not necessarily required and the need for a strategic leader was identified at a recent retreat hosted by the board, which included the minister, other government officials and stakeholders on Cayman Brac earlier this month. During the retreat all of the board members were interviewed about what they felt would be required for the candidate. They also discussed the issues of the overall direction of the port and the impact of the coming changes on Cayman.

During this process, the key attributes that would be necessary to lead the port through the anticipated change and beyond were identified. This included a need for “a strategic, transformational leader, as well as a leader that would be an ambassador for the country in all aspects of the port operations,” officials said. The new port boss will also need to build solid relationships, globally as well as locally.

“Not only do we want to make sure the organisation is aligned to achieve our strategic vision, mission and values, we also want to ensure our people have the skill sets and resources required to operate efficiently and safely to facilitate the future development of cargo, cruise, and commercial operations,” Bush added.

However, the new post, which may be more of a strategic one, does not command the same salary as that paid to Hurlston. Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell told the Legislative Assembly last year when the port was struggling with major financial losses that director’s job commanded a salary of more than $200,000 per annum. The salary on offer, however, is still significant, with a range of CI$123,000 to almost CI$173,000.

While the port is still struggling with a number of issues, the Public Accounts Committee heard Wednesday (see related story) that the port is expected to have turned around its negative cash position, where its liabilities outpaced its assets by almost $4 million at the end of the 2012 financial year, to a positive position, where assets will outweigh liabilities by more than $2 million by the end of the 2014/15 fiscal year.

Deloitte ad for Port Authority Director March 2015

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It will be another appointment based on place of birth and political connections. The PPM are incapable of anything else.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Dang, a lot of consultants obviously reading this thread.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In other words they want another “Tribal leader”. First requirement is to be able to fit in with the locals and Government leadership and the “special” ways things need to be done to fit in while watching each others backsides. Any other qualifications is just gravy.

  4. Anonymous says:

    “A good slaesman can sell anything.” Yup and I don’t disagree with hiring a salesman from another comapny to manage your sales department. And if you’re going to point to the turtle farm as your example of ‘a good manager can manage anything’ … i’m not sure I need to provide a counter-example. (Being better than the other bad choices isn’t a stirring recomendation.) Where I disagree with you is the idea that you can hire a good salesman to lead a Port. To provide a counter-example, technology startups around the world regularly bring in people with ‘relevant industry experience’ to lead parts or all of their companies because they realise that as much as you need vision you also need practical knowledge to succeed as a leader/manager. I haven’t heard of them hiring any Port Directors to lead their teams.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it takes more to be a good leader than speciic industry knowledge. But its practically impossible to be a good leader without the knowledge of your industry. Its why leaders who have worked up through the ranks in an industry are better than consultants hired as leaders.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I do not think it is a bad idea to think outside the box for this position. Why not look for someone with more econ and busn expertise? Anyone keen can learn the minutia of the port laws and regulations. It takes much more to be a good leader than specific industry knowledge.

  7. Anonymous says:

    “…they are searching for a “strategic leader” and “an ambassador” for Cayman, not necessarily a port expert.”

    Here we go again. Now when this one don’t work out, as is bound to happen, it will end up being another stay-at-home payday. When is this insanity going to stop?

  8. Disgusted! says:

    Wow! Willing to start without the required expertise?! With those general job requirements seems like Deloitte/Port Board have already identified someone. Perhaps a fraternity member or someone connected. The same process applied in a similar case last year.

  9. Anonymous says:

    All the haters will be on here soon!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good work if you can get it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I know, we can bring in an expat with vision and a nack for building global relationships. (I’m sure Deloitte would be happy to head-hunt a friend for us.) Then the Caymanian underlings can teach them how to run a port. Since apparently thats where all the skills are already. then in a few years when they have vision and knowledge the director can move on to somewhere else, touting their experience and exposure in Cayman.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Well, the port is sunk. Any time you have someone in charge who doesn’t know the practical details you end up with problems regardless of vision. This is classic consultant gibberish. The only thing they’re good at is ‘vision’, ‘relationships’ and impractical reports. So they think that equates to actually doing something productive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolute Bollocks. How many CEO’s change jobs to companies they know nothing about the end product. Happens all the time in the real world. Like sales. A good salesman can sell anything, A good CEO can manage anything.

      Hey we have a phone guy as CEO of the airport,
      We have a phone guy running the turtle farm.

      Better than the drug addict running the it before.

      • Anonymous says:

        Unfortunately the turtle farm is in debt and well the airport has problems so perhaps not the best examples though I get your drift.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed, turtle farm not a good example.. CIAA, well we have to wait and see. Put the lady from Water Authority there, she appears to be doing a good job you don’t hear any negative reports there. Or do I stand to be corrected?

          • Anonymous says:

            The lady from the water authority has a background in … the water authority. But thanks for proving the original comment right. You need someone who knows the technical aspects just as much as the ‘consultant’ aspects.

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