After three months as interim CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi, Kent Britton will take on the role permanently.
Britton’s appointment comes four months after chief executive Sean Strawbridge resigned amid questions about his business expenses.
The Port of Corpus Christi Commission voted in a special meeting Wednesday to promote Britton, who has served as interim CEO since June, to the position full time.
“The Port of Corpus Christi is an incredible asset to the Coastal Bend region, and I am honored to continue its stewardship,” Britton said in a news release. “As the global energy industry evolves in response to massive demand and rapidly advancing technologies, the ability to move fuels and chemicals safely and efficiently from Texas to destinations around the world will continue playing a make-or-break role in the creation of jobs and prosperity across the region.”
Strawbridge resigned in May, a day after a story aired on KRIS-TV about his alleged excessive expenses, including $10,000 a month on food, drinks and snacks, World Series tickets, and a $202,000 trip to Tel Aviv, Israel, to visit desalination facilities.
After his resignation, Strawbridge received a lump sum payment from the port totaling $1.6 million as part of a separation agreement, according to the Corpus Christi Caller Times.
Port officials said 46 people applied for the CEO position, which was narrowed to five candidates before Britton was ultimately selected.
Prior to joining the Port of Corpus Christi in 2017, Britton worked as CFO for the Sherwin Alumina Co. His career spans more than 30 years in accounting and finance, including executive roles at Alcoa and Blackbaud Inc. Britton was promoted to CFO at the Port of Corpus Christi in 2019.
The port has been in operation since 1926 and is the nation’s largest energy export gateway and one of the largest seaports in total waterway tonnage. Corpus Christi is on the Gulf of Mexico, about 130 miles southeast of San Antonio.
The port achieved a new annual record of 187.9 million tons in fiscal year 2022 — a 12% year-over-year increase compared to 2021 volumes, amid rising global demand in the energy and chemicals sectors.
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