The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously 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 decision was greeted with support by industry representatives, State Sen. Alan Lowenthal and others present at the regularly scheduled board meeting.
The Harbor Commission announced their decision a week ago, but Monday’s vote formally confirmed Lytle’s appointment. Lytle will succeed Richard Steinke, the port’s 14-year executive director, who announced his plan to retire earlier this year.
“After a thorough, intensive and extensive search process, I’m pleased to report that last Monday, the board was unanimous in selecting” Lytle for the position, Harbor Commission President Susan Anderson Wise said shortly before the unanimous 4 to 0 vote. Commissioner Thomas Fields was not present. “I am looking forward to working with Chris in his new position,” Wise said.
Lytle is a longtime shipping industry veteran, and 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.
Lytle, a former vice president with the French-based shipping line CMA CGM, also held executive positions at P&O Ports North America, Sea-Land Service Inc. and the Denmark-based APM (Maersk) Terminals. “I don’t think there is port in world that has a better staff,” Lytle said. “It is my pleasure to work with the staff in my new capacity.”