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Port seeks search firm to find new CEO

The Port of San Diego is looking for a search firm to help it find a new chief executive, following the ouster last month of Wayne Darbeau.

In a request for qualifications posted last Friday, the port is looking for a headhunting firm with a solid track record for executive searches. The deadline for applications is Sept. 15.

The decision will be based on the reputation and expertise of the firm, the qualifications and experience of personnel who will be conducting the search and how well the firm understands the scope of the task and plans its approach to the search.

Darbeau, a long-time Port employee who was appointed CEO in 2010, was forced out on July 25 after asking the head of the San Diego Port Tenants Association to help find a summer job for his son, a first-year college student. Darbeau said he was merely doing what any father might do to help find work for his son, but the port's board of commissioners decided he was improperly using his position. For the past two years, Darbeau's son spent his summers working for Pasha Automotive, one of the port's key tenants.

Technically, Darbeau, who made more than $257,000 per year, is on paid administrative leave through the end of the year, when he will be officially terminated with an additional six months in severance pay. In the meantime, John Bolduc, chief of the Harbor Police Department, has been named as acting CEO.

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Unified Port of San Diego

Company Website

3165 Pacific Hwy.
San Diego, CA 92101

Unified Port of San Diego Executive(s):

Robert Valderrama

  • Commissioner

Bob Nelson

  • Vice Chairman

John Bolduc

  • Acting CEO

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