Governor Charlie Baker today announced that MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack is launching the search for a permanent CEO and General Manager for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA).
Governor Baker also recommended in his address before the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, that the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) exercise the two-year extension of its governance of the MBTA, as permitted by statute. Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve will continue to serve as Acting General Manager in the interim and will sit on the search panel.
“The MBTA is showing real progress in its turnaround, from vastly improved winter operations to cutting its operating deficit by more than half, but more work is needed to deliver better and more efficient results to riders and taxpayers,” said Governor Baker. “As the MBTA enters this next phase, the time is right for a transformative and permanent General Manager with a strong business background and experience in delivering major capital programming and providing direct service to customers. The unrelenting dedication and talent provided by Secretary Pollack, Brian Shortsleeve and Jeff Gonneville, has steered the MBTA in a better direction, and we look forward to their steady leadership as the search for a turnaround CEO proceeds. The Fiscal and Management Control Board is playing a critical role in reforming the MBTA and we welcome their request to extend their governance to continue the MBTA’s turnaround.”
Secretary Pollack, who by statute is charged with hiring the MBTA’s General Manager, has created a GM Search Advisory Panel, and is in the process of securing an executive search firm to identify a CEO-style GM whose primary focus will be to continue the work of changing the MBTA’s culture to focus on performance, capital investment and improved customer service. The search process will be coordinated closely with members of the FMCB, and board member Steve Poftak will serve on the search panel.
“The MBTA now has the momentum to implement changes which will give customers the service they need and deserve and to rebuild its aging infrastructure,” said Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. “A new General Manager and the continued partnership of the Fiscal and Management Control Board will create the stability necessary for the MBTA to complete its transformation into the high performing, customer-focused transit agency to better serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”
Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve, who assumed the dual role of Acting General Manager in July 2016, and MBTA Chief Operating Officer Jeff Gonneville, will continue their current leadership positions at the MBTA, focusing respectively on the MBTA’s fiscal sustainability and day-to-day operations, and serving on the search panel. Shortsleeve has served in his dual roles since July, 2016, when he assumed the role of Acting General Manager.
“I look forward to assisting in the search for a permanent General Manager who will continue the progress we have made in delivering better service for our riders,” said Acting General Manager and Chief Administrator Brian Shortsleeve,” and focusing full time on the MBTA’s long term fiscal sustainability for taxpayers.”
By statute, the FMCB sunsets at the end of June, 2018, with the option for the board to exercise a single, two-year extension through June, 2020. Extending the existing governance model for two years will ensure a longer-term structure is in place for General Manager candidates to consider while the search is underway and after their selection.
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