Baker launches search for new T leader
Urges oversight board to stay on into 2020
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Thursday that his administration is addressing long-term governance at the MBTA, launching a search for a new CEO/general manager and asking the agency’s existing oversight board to stay on an extra two years until June 2020.
The search process comes at a critical time for the T. The transit authority has made progress in hiring management talent and cutting costs, but the next few years will determine whether the T can execute the many changes already set in motion. Baker underscored the high stakes by telling a business group that “this needs to be a turnaround CEO.”
The T is currently run by Brian Shortsleeve, the chief administrator and acting general manager, and Jeff Gonneville, the chief operating officer. With Shortsleeve wanting to return to the private sector and Gonneville not a candidate for the top job, state Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack has created a general manager search advisory panel to find a new leader for the T.A press release issued by Baker indicated both Shortsleeve and Gonneville would serve on the search panel, along with Steve Poftak, one of the members of the T’s Fiscal and Management Control Board. The names of other members of the search panel were not released.
The five-member Fiscal and Management Control Board, created at the urging of Baker, was set to disband in June next year, but under its authorizing legislation the board was allowed to exercise a single, two-year extension. Baker urged the board to do that in an address to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning.