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Tampa International Airport director re-evaluating his top executives

The new boss at Tampa International Airport has asked his senior leadership for resumes and a list of what they have accomplished in the past three years.

Joe Lopano, who took over a month ago, said he is looking into the airport's organizational structure, senior staff and salaries. It's too early to draw any conclusions, he added.

"The first thing any leader does is take a look at the resources available," he said Thursday.

On Jan. 10, Lopano also asked his 12-member leadership team for five to seven key plans for the next three years.

"I am reviewing our senior staff capabilities and potential for future leadership roles in the enterprise," he wrote in an e-mail to the employees.

Lopano inherited a management structure that's more top-heavy than the one he worked in at Dallas-Fort Worth International, the fourth largest U.S. airport and three times the size of Tampa International.

Six senior executives and chief operating officer John Wheat report directly to Lopano. Six more senior directors report to Wheat. One of those positions opened with the Nov. 30 resignation of Lou Russo, senior director of planning and development.

At Dallas-Fort Worth International, longtime CEO Jeffrey P. Fagan has six direct reports and no deputy under him.

Two dozen TIA executives earn more than $100,000 annually. With revenue declining in lockstep with passenger traffic, the airport froze employee salaries for more than three years. The airport laid off 26 employees from a staff of 586 last year. Most worked in construction and engineering jobs that weren't needed when plans for a new north terminal were pushed to 2023.

Will Lopano try to flatten the airport's organization or target six-figure salaries? "It's probably too early to tell," he said. "I'll look at everything, from structure to salary levels."

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

Tampa International Airport director re-evaluating his top executives 02/03/11 [Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 1:42am]
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