The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously confirmed Gene Seroka, head of commercial in the Americas region for American President Lines, as the new executive director of the Port of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino said Seroka was "business-minded" and would help drive additional cargo through the port.
Under questioning from Buscaino, Seroka said the port needs to understand business and economic trends and show "best-in-class customer service" so that customers will want to come to the port. He also said the environmental programs at the port to reduce air pollution have been exemplary, but said there was still work to be done as the port's Clean Air Action Plan has milestones that are "even greater than what we have done today."
Asked about automation, Seroka said, "There is agreement between labor and employers on how to deploy that technology, and stakeholders must all meet at the table in order to work implementation processes that make sure it is in the best interest of port, employers, business growth and jobs in Los Angeles."
Vilma Martinez, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission, said Seroka has impeccable credentials.
“He has worked closely with every link in the global supply chain, with much of his career focused on Asia and the Americas, and that experience, coupled with his strategic vision and collaborative leadership style, will take our port to new heights," Martinez said.
Seroka has "extensive contacts and relationships throughout the supply chain which span the world," said Michele Grubbs, vice president of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association. "Choosing Gene is a clear affirmation that the Port of Los Angeles is customer-focused and committed to retaining its standing as the No. 1 container port in the United States."
The Harbor Board of Commissioners unanimously voted June 5 to approve Seroka for the executive director’s position. Mayor Garcetti’s May 27 announcement that he had chosen Seroka for the job concluded a global search to fill the port’s top management post.