Gonneville to serve as the T’s interim GM

Deputy GM will hold position until Healey names replacement

JEFFREY GONNEVILLE, the deputy general manager of the MBTA, will take over as the interim general manager when Steve Poftak steps down on January 3.

As the T’s second-highest-ranking official, Gonneville was the obvious choice for the interim post — and Transportation Secretary Jamey Tesler made it official on Thursday.

Gonneville will serve as general manager until Gov.-elect Maura Healey, through the MBTA board, picks a new general manager.

He filled in in a similar capacity in 2018 before Poftak was picked for the job on January 1, 2019.

After a tour of an MBTA repair facility in Everett on Wednesday, Healey raised no concerns about letting the Baker administration pick Poftak’s temporary replacement. Healey and Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll were squired around the Everett facility by Gonneville.

Poftak has served four years as the MBTA’s general manager and prior to that he was a member of the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board.

Gonneville, by contrast, is a long-time T employee, joining the transit authority more than 20 years ago and working his way up through the ranks on the operations side of the agency. Prior to becoming deputy general manager, he served as chief operations officer.

Healey has brought in an outside firm to lead what she has described as an international search for a new general manager. She said on Wednesday that she hopes to find her candidate in the next weeks instead of months.