Changes announced to senior Port of Tauranga team

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Port of Tauranga has announced the appointment of Leonard Sampson to the newly created position of chief operating officer, reporting to the chief executive.

Leonard Sampson: takes on new senior role. Photo/Supplied.

Sampson has been the Port’s commercial manager since 2013, when he joined the company after senior roles at KiwiRail, Carter Holt Harvey and Mainfreight.

Port of Tauranga chief executive Mark Cairns has also announced that long-serving chief financial officer Steve Gray will retire in June 2020 for health reasons.

Gray has been with the company for 32 years and has served in his present role for the past 12 years.

Cairns said Gray had been instrumental in the company’s success would be greatly missed. Recruitment for a new CFO would begin immediately.

“In Steve’s time as CFO, he has overseen outstanding returns for our shareholders,” said Cairns.

“He led the team that negotiated the long-term freight agreement with Kotahi that enabled Port of Tauranga to become big ship capable and New Zealand’s largest port,” he said.

“He is greatly respected by the market and I am personally very grateful for his wisdom, sound judgement and great company.”

Gray was named CFO of the Year in the 2017 Deloitte Top 200 Business Awards. He will continue in governance roles on Port of Tauranga’s associate companies including PrimePort Timaru and CodaGroup.

In preparation for Gray’s retirement, Port of Tauranga’s finance and IT manager Simon Kebbell will take on the responsibilities of company secretary and join the senior management team.

Kebbell joined the company in 2003 and before this held management positions with Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers in Singapore.

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