News

Ports corporation chief's services 'no longer required'

GPC chief executive Leo Zussino will finish in his position at the end of August.
GPC chief executive Leo Zussino will finish in his position at the end of August. Tom Huntley

GLADSTONE Ports Corporation chief executive Leo Zussino has been told his services are no longer required.

His contract will not be renewed when it ends in August. Mr Zussino made no secret of his desire to continue in the role for "a number of years", but accepted the board's decision on Thursday.

He said he looked forward to working hard over the final five months in his role.

A search will now begin for his replacement.

Mr Zussino would not comment on suggestions his axing was a political move by the Queensland Government.

He is a Labor Party member and from the moment Premier Campbell Newman won government, people have speculated his days were numbered.

Mr Zussino said he had not been told there were political motivations behind the decision and said he had always kept his political beliefs separate from his working life.

"It was decided that there was an issue in succession planning (for GPC) and a new CEO had to come in some time. I am devoted to the port. I would have been happy to stay," Mr Zussino said.
"But there comes a time when there needs to be change and the chairman and the board decided that (this year) is the time."

Whatever the reasons for Mr Zussino's exit, the decision brings to an end one of Gladstone's most famous leaderships.

Mr Zussino's supporters describe him as a visionary leader driven by social ideals.

His critics, and there are plenty, describe him as authoritarian, an industrial apologist responsible for environmental damage.

Mr Zussino spoke of his pride in what the ports had achieved over the years.

"Two decades ago, Gladstone had 15% youth unemployment. Parents used to come to me and say, 'Leo, what is my child going to do when they leave school?'

"I can assure you today, no parent asks that question.

"We have over full employment in Gladstone. We have guaranteed prosperity. We are recession-proofed and the port has played a very large role in that."

GPC chairman Mark Brodie said a search would begin soon for a new chief executive officer to replace Mr Zussino in September.

Mr Zussino has had a 21-year involvement with the ports corporation, first as chairman for nine years followed by 12 years as CEO.

In an email announcing the news, Mr Zussino said he "had offered the corporation the opportunity for me to stay to complete the transition of GPC into an organisation capable of accommodating the 60mtpa of new trade resulting from the LNG industry, the Wiggins Island Coal Terminal and increased coal exports from existing terminals".

"However, in the interest of leadership succession planning, it was decided that there was benefit in the new CEO being fully immersed in the significant transformation process underway at GPC, to ensure our ports accommodate the additional 60mtpa in an orderly manner," he said.

Mr Zussino's employment contract expires on August 31.

"I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Leo for the good work he has done during his time at Gladstone Ports Corporation," Mr Brodie said.

"His passion and determination towards his role is well known and, to this end, he has placed Gladstone Ports Corporation in a strong position going forward.

"In recent years, the port has experienced strong growth, and Leo and his team have implemented and overseen strategies that will allow the organisation to successfully deal with what is anticipated to be a significant increase in trade through the port in the coming years."

The GPC plans to have an interim CEO in place by June so the new CEO can work alongside Mr Zussino until the end of August to help ensure a smooth transition.

Topics:  gladstone harbour gladstone ports corporation leo zussino



It's bigger and better than ever

HONOURED: Past winner Leigh-Anne Hargreaves with her work "Poppy Bella”.

Ipswich Art awards return

Generous pay cheque for dull ideas

Australia Post.

I wouldn't mind $4.4 million a year

Sportsbet installs LNP as favourites at next election

SPEAKING OUT: Sean Choat agrees with Sportsbet on the LNP being favourite to form government at the next state election, but says the party must learn lessons from the past.

Choat agrees with bookies but insists lessons of past must be heeded

Local Partners

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!