Ports of Auckland's CEO Tony Gibson has announced that he will step down at the end of June 2021.
"This has been a difficult decision" he said today. "I love working at Ports of Auckland. It is an organisation full of absolutely wonderful people doing amazing things."
"Over the last few months there have been persistent and sometimes personal attacks on me as CEO. I feel that this focus on me is damaging to the company and to the great people that I work with. It is taking our focus off what is really important – delivering change. I can't let that continue, so for the sake of our people and the good work that they do, I have decided to step down."
"As I go, I want to pay tribute to the people of Ports of Auckland. This is a company which is often in the media in a bad way, over port expansion, port location or more recently over safety and congestion. Sadly, there is little media attention on the great things our people have achieved in the last 10 years."
"Our people have transformed the business from one which couldn't afford to invest in necessary infrastructure to one which has earned hundreds of millions of dollars for Aucklanders. They have successfully delivered multiple projects such as the new deep-water container wharf, a new car handling building and three container handling cranes."
"There is more diversity in the business, with more women in stevedoring here than at any other port in the country. Our people are innovative and have put into practice many ideas which have made our workplace safer and more effective. Our people are passionate about sustainability, leading the way in zero-emission technology with our hydrogen project and Sparky the world's first battery-powered ship-handling tug."
Auckland is the first port in New Zealand to automate and our people are doing it in a new and innovative way. The project will deliver the capacity the city needs while at the same time protecting the Waitematā Harbour from more reclamation.
"I say farewell to the people of Ports of Auckland with sadness but with great confidence in their character and ability. The focus on improving safety will continue and I know the right people are in place to make sure that is successful. Change will come and the people of Ports of Auckland will overcome the current difficulties in the business and go on to lead New Zealand's port sector once again. Thank you all."
Ports of Auckland Board Chair Bill Osborne said "Tony has been a transformational CEO for Ports of Auckland over the last 10 years. His vision, drive, skills, and leadership have been essential in delivering the change that was desperately needed when he started in 2011.
I am sad to lose someone of his calibre, especially at a time when the company is again going through major change. However, I understand and accept his reasons and wish him well."
Deputy CEO and CFO Wayne Thompson will be Interim CEO until a new CEO is appointed.
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