Port of Oakland Announces New Executive Director

Press Releases

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2013

Port of Oakland Announces New Executive Director

Oakland, CA – May 23, 2013 – The Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners proudly announces the appointment of maritime shipping industry veteran Chris Lytle as the new Executive Director of the Port of Oakland. This announcement comes after a four-month global search to find a world-class, transformative business leader who could quickly address the Port’s opportunities and challenges.

“The Port Commission set a high standard for its next leader and has successfully achieved this goal with the selection of Chris Lytle, who has a proven track record of growing business while engaging the community and ensuring leading environmental stewardship,” stated Board President Gilda Gonzales.

Under Mr. Lytle’s leadership, the Port of Oakland will continue its aggressive focus on growing maritime and aviation volumes and instilling new confidence in Port business and community partners. The Port of Oakland’s immediate goals include transforming the Port’s maritime business, continuing to grow aviation and cargo volumes through Oakland International Airport (OAK), rebuilding public trust through policy strengthening initiatives, restructuring the Port to be more market and community responsive, completing major development projects such as the Oakland Army Base redevelopment, enhancing the Port’s twenty miles of waterfront including Jack London Square, and growing the positive job creation and economic impact of the Port throughout the region.

“The future of the Port of Oakland is bright, and I am excited to be a part of the team as we work to realize its tremendous potential. My family and I are also really looking forward to living and working in the Oakland area once again,” noted Mr. Lytle.

Chris Lytle currently serves as the Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, the second busiest container seaport in North America, a position he has held since November 2011, after having served as the Port’s Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer from 2008 to 2011. He joined the Port of Long Beach in September 2006 as one of four Managing Directors; he oversaw the Port’s Trade Relations and Port Operations Bureau. Prior to his Port of Long Beach tenure, Mr. Lytle served as Vice President of West Coast Operations for the French-based shipping line CMA CGM, which has significant maritime and terminal operations at the Ports of Long Beach, Oakland, and Seattle. Mr. Lytle has also held executive positions at P&O Ports North America, Denmark-based APM (Maersk) Terminals, and Sea-Land Service, Inc., where he was based in Oakland from 1992-1995. Mr. Lytle holds an MBA from the University of Puget Sound and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Central Washington University.

Under Mr. Lytle’s leadership, the Port of Long Beach worked with the 2nd and 3rd largest global container lines, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA-CGM, to establish the Port of Long Beach as their Southern California hub. The resulting realignment of terminals and services for those lines gave the Port of Long Beach an additional 900,000 containers and an estimated $22 million per year. He also worked closely with OOCL, a Hong Kong-based line, to negotiate a $4.5 billion 40-year lease with the Port of Long Beach – the largest lease in US container terminal history. When completed in 2019, the Middle Harbor Terminal will be the most state-of-the art container terminal in the world. Mr. Lytle was also instrumental in implementing numerous ground-breaking environmental initiatives that resulted in 75% reduction in diesel particulates in only five years. Under Mr. Lytle’s leadership, the Port of Long Beach also continued to win the designation as North America’s Best Seaport, a recognition it has earned 16 of the last 18 years, as based on an annual survey conducted by Cargonews Asia shipping trade publication.

While in Long Beach, Chris Lytle prioritized community awareness, support and interaction with the activities of the Port. Under his leadership, innovative programs helped make the Port a welcomed partner in the community. Harbor tours, rail tours, and the very well-received “Let’s Talk Port” series in the community educated the public about the Port’s beneficial initiatives and further established the Port’s role as an integral part of the local community and economy.

Chris Lytle is expected to begin his service as Executive Director of the Port of Oakland in July 2013. Until that time, Deborah Ale Flint will continue to serve as Acting Executive Director, and, upon Mr. Lytle’s arrival, she will continue in a senior Port executive leadership position.

About the Port of Oakland:
The Port of Oakland oversees the Oakland seaport, Oakland International Airport, and 20 miles of waterfront. The Oakland seaport is the fifth busiest container port in the U.S.; Oakland International Airport is the second largest San Francisco Bay Area airport offering over 300 daily passenger and cargo flights; and the Port’s real estate includes commercial developments such as Jack London Square and hundreds of acres of public parks and conservation areas. Together, through Port operations and those of its tenants and users, the Port supports more than 73,000 jobs in the region and nearly 827,000 jobs across the United States. The Port of Oakland was established in 1927 and is an independent department of the City of Oakland. Connect with the Port of Oakland and Oakland International Airport through Facebook, or with the Port on Twitter, YouTube, and at www.portofoakland.com.

Media Contacts:

Robert Bernardo
Communications Manager
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1401
Click here to contact Robert Bernardo

Marilyn Sandifur
Port Spokesperson
Port of Oakland
(510) 627-1193
Click here to contact Marilyn Sandifur


Media & Newsroom

Not sure who to contact or have a general question? Use our contact form to route your request