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



'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Ipswich park cordoned off after man dies

Police tape

Photo Jorge Branco / Caboolture News

Emergency services were called to an Ipswich park yesterday

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Local Partners

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

Bush balladeer brings bruised blues to Brissie

BRIGHT FUTURE: Jordan Merrick has just released his EP, In Colour.

Singer-songwriter Jordan Merrick on his debut EP, In Colour

Ipswich lad 'Robbo' brings Studio 10 home to Nanna

REUNION: Studio 10 roving reporter David 'Robbo' Robinson broadcast the Channel 10 shows live from Ipswich with his grandmother Jan Wells.

And Eastern Heights fan plays host in the TV thrill of her life

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

'Ridiculous': Council refuses renovation at heritage home

NOT FAIR: Karen Solomon of Newtown is angry with Ipswich City Council for refusing her plans to build a colonial style double car port at her Newtown home.

Council rejected development application

Council refusal of 'high density' development ends in court

Ipswich City Council first meeting with the new 2016 council.

Developer took the matter to the Queensland Planning Court

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!