By Leo Ryan, AJOT

The longest-serving chief executive of a major world port will soon be passing the torch. The Board of the Montreal Port Authority (MPA) has announced the appointment of Patrice Pelletier, a veteran business executive with international transportation expertise, to succeed Dominic Taddeo as President and CEO upon the latter’s retirement in mid-October.

The Board finally gave its nod over candidates from the marine industry in Canada and from within the existing Montreal port administration among reportedly more than 100 applications.

With a career at the Port of Montreal spanning 33 years, Mr. Taddeo has been its chief executive since 1984. Throughout the years, and under his stewardship, Montreal has been transformed from an underutilized grain export port into the leading gateway on the East Coast of North America for Atlantic box cargo - just ahead in this sector of the Port of New York/New Jersey. Container cargo of 1.3m teus annually now accounts for more than 40% of Montreal’s total tonnage.

Formerly President of L-3 Communications Spar Aerospace and a senior executive with Bombardier Transport and SNC-Lavalin Group managing projects in Africa and Asia, Pelletier has more than two decades of experience in high-ranking positions within organizations specializing in transportation, energy and project management. His educational background is in civil engineering.

In a Sept. 12 press release, MPA Chairman Marc Bruneau underlined Pelletier’s ‘solid track record as a manager focused on results and the capacity to develop and implement growth strategies on a world scale. His in-depth knowledge of transportation systems and infrastructures was acquired through working in foreign markets.’