The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners will vote Monday, Nov. 14, to name J. Christopher Lytle, the port’s deputy executive director and chief operating officer, as the Port of Long Beach’s new executive director. The commission announced the decision on Lytle following a closed-door meeting after their regular board meeting on Monday, Nov. 7. If confirmed on Nov. 14, Lytle would succeed Richard Steinke, the port’s 14-year executive director, who is retiring.
“After an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Harbor Commissioners is very pleased to recommend the appointment of Chris Lytle as the port’s new executive director,” says Harbor Commission President Susan Anderson Wise. “Chris’ extensive public and private experience make him the ideal leader for our port. On the private side, he’s operated shipping terminals around the world, and fully understands the unique issues facing public ports in California. He has a great rapport with our customers, and while he understands the industry, he’s also very open to new ideas and innovations.”
Lytle, a longtime shipping industry veteran, has been the port’s deputy executive director since March 2008. He joined the port in September 2006 as one of four managing directors, overseeing the port’s Trade Relations and Port Operations Bureau, which includes the communications, trade development, security and maintenance divisions.
As a former vice president with the French-based shipping line CMA CGM, Lytle was responsible for the company’s entire West Coast operations, including significant marine and terminal operations at the Port of Long Beach and similar operations in Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle. He has also held executive positions at P&O Ports North America, Sea-Land Service Inc. and the Denmark-based APM (Maersk) Terminals.