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Tampa International Airport CEO Lopano shakes up top management

The new boss at Tampa International unveiled a sweeping shakeup in the airport's top management on Wednesday.

CEO Joe Lopano inherited a organization in which 13 senior executives directly reported to him. Under the new, flatter structure, he will have 10 direct reports.

His top lieutenants will be six vice presidents — three from outside Tampa International and three current executives: Ed Cooley (operations), Al Illustrato Jr. (facilities/customer services) and Gigi Rechel (general counsel, corporate affairs and real estate). New vice presidents will oversee marketing, finance/administration and business planning.

The job titles mirror those in corporate business, said Lopano, who identifies himself as the airport's CEO instead of executive director. The changes reinforce his focus on sustaining TIA's high-quality customer service and being "more competitive in a very competitive business," he said.

The reorganization won't require a net increase in airport positions or layoffs of any current employees, Lopano said.

Salaries of the new vice presidents will be more than offset by the elimination of positions vacant through resignations, including those of John Wheat, former chief operating officer, and Lou Russo, former senior director of planning and development.

The reorganization will save Tampa International $100,000 during the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. That's a fraction of executive salaries, "but it's in the right direction," Lopano said.

Steve Huettel can be reached at or (727) 893-8128.

Tampa International Airport CEO Lopano shakes up top management 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 9:12pm]
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