James J. Devine, president and CEO of GCT USA, parent company of Global Terminal and New York Container Terminal, will retire June 30 and be succeeded by John Atkins, the company’s chief operating officer.
Stephen Edwards, president and CEO of GCT Global Container Terminals Inc., announced the changes. Devine will continue to have a role with the company as senior adviser.
“Jim is an exceptional leader who has capably navigated the company through challenging market conditions. GCT’s success is a testament to his tireless work and vision. We are grateful for innumerable contributions,” Edwards said in a statement.
Devine has been a highly visible figure in the Port of New York and New Jersey. He has led the revitalization of two container terminals — first NYCT, which he joined in 2001, and later Global, which will hold a grand opening of its $300 million semi-automated terminal at Bayonne on June 18.
NYCT and Global are subsidiaries of Vancouver-based GCT Global Container Terminals, which is owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund.
Global, which will employ remote-controlled rail-mounted gantry cranes, will be the most technologically advanced container terminal in the United States. The terminal and the International Longshoremen’s Association have been in arbitration over staffing requirements.
Devine, 69, served in the U.S. Army’s Transportation Corps before joining Sea-Land Service, where he spent 26 years in a variety of posts. He was senior vice president, operations, at CMA CGM America for two years before his appointment to head NYCT.
At NYCT and Global, he’s earned a reputation as an energetic, hands-on manager who has balanced his experience as an Army drill instructor with a people-oriented approach. He greets longshoremen by name and asks about their families. When he’s not traveling he often eats breakfast and lunch with dockworkers at the terminal cafeteria.
“What I’m going to miss is the people, both management and labor. That’s what has kept me going as long as I have,” Devine told the JOC. “There’s never a good time to step away, but this is as good a time as any. I feel good about the future of both facilities, and I’m totally confident in the abilities of John Atkins.”
Atkins has been closely involved in the Global expansion project. He has advanced through several positions to chief operating officer since joining GCT USA in 2002. He and Devine previously worked together at Sea-Land and CMA CGM.
“John is a proven leader with deep operational knowledge. His customer focus is fundamental to ensuring our continued growth in the harbor,” Edwards said.