Baker launches search for new T leader

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.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

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 salary range for the position also was not released. Shortsleeve currently makes $175,000 a year, but the new GM’s salary will probably be significantly higher. One of Shortsleeve’s subordinates, John Dalton, who was brought in to oversee the Green Line extension into Somerville and Medford, is being paid a base salary of $280,000 a year along with add-ons that bring his annual pay to about $382,577.

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.