A nationwide search to replace Alabama State Port Authority CEO Jimmy Lyons concluded April 6 with the announcement that John C. Driscoll, maritime director for the Port of Oakland, would take the role June 1.
Lyons, who has steered port operations in the state for more than two decades, announced in December his plan to retire at the end of this year. He will stay on through the end of 2020 to assist in the transition.
In Driscoll’s most recent role, in Oakland, California, he had operational and marketing responsibility for one of the nation’s top 10 container seaports. He was credited with improving that port’s operating efficiency, financial performance and community relations.
Prior to that, he served as vice president of export sales for CMA CGM (America) LLC, a leading global container shipping group.
Driscoll gained maritime experience and contacts working with Sea-Land Service, Maersk Line and CMA CGM. He successfully developed business operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
He attended the University of Maryland and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business management with an emphasis on transportation and marketing, according to the Port of Oakland website.
“Over the last several months, the board and Jimmy Lyons worked through a nationwide search to identify a slate of qualified candidates,” said Bestor Ward, chairman of the Alabama State Port Authority. “It was John’s qualifications that made him the natural choice. Our board looks forward to John joining the Port Authority team in June.”
Lyons also had praise for Driscoll.
“I’ve observed over the years John’s incredible contributions to the industry. His abilities were affirmed through our extensive assessment of his body of work and my conversations with those who have worked with him. I am confident John will be an excellent fit for our seaport, our management team, and our employees, and I personally look forward to the transition,” Lyons said.
Driscoll is a native of Bethesda, Maryland. He and his wife, Linda, have three children and currently live in Piedmont, CA.
The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, currently the 11th largest U.S. Seaport by total trade. Its facilities alone handled over 26 million tons of cargo in 2019.