The Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans announced today that President and CEO Gary LaGrange will retire at the end of his current contract in April, 2017. The Board is expected to name Brandy Christian, the Port’s current chief operating officer, to succeed LaGrange.
LaGrange, a 40-year veteran of the maritime industry, served as president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans since 2001. During his tenure, the Port invested more than $500 million in infrastructure, opening state-of-the-art facilities including new container, intermodal, cruise and refrigerated terminals. Port revenues reached record heights for the fourth consecutive year in 2015, topped the half-million TEU mark for the first time and topped one million cruise passengers for the second consecutive year.
It was LaGrange’s leadership that brought the Port of New Orleans back into operation 12 days after Hurricane Katrina. He has also been a tireless industry advocate touting the importance of ports and waterways to the local and national economy, Port officials said.
The Board is expected to authorize Chairman Bergeron to negotiate a contract with Christian to succeed LaGrange as president and CEO.
Christian joined the Port of New Orleans as COO in January 2015 after 14 years with the Port of San Diego, where she served for five years as vice president of strategy and business development. During her tenure with California’s fourth-largest cargo port, Christian was the driving force behind securing major accounts for the cruise and cargo business lines at the Port. She was also instrumental in significantly improving operational processes and reducing costs for the public agency.