Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Business

Executive headhunting firm gets easy payday from Tampa Port Authority

TAMPA — Last year, the Tampa Port Authority's governing board voted to hire Boyden Global Executive Search to help it look for a new CEO to lead the port. Boyden helped the board select and hire Paul Anderson, the former CEO of the Port of Jacksonville, to take over the Port of Tampa at the start of this year.

Tampa paid Boyden $119,992 to help find Anderson. But the executive headhunter cashed in again Tuesday when the board voted to pay the global firm another $54,600 for finding the Port of Tampa a new chief commercial officer, Raul Alfonso.

The problem is that Anderson was already well acquainted with Alfonso, Jaxport's senior director of trade development and global marketing under Anderson. After Anderson was hired in January, he created a new position and brought in Alfonso to fill it. Alfonso is in charge of marketing and real estate development.

So why would the port pay Boyden to find someone that the CEO already knew? It's in the contract, port officials said. Alfonso was among candidates for the port's CEO job identified by Boyden during last year's search. Under the terms of Boyden's contract, the firm is owed a fee whenever the Tampa Port Authority hires anyone from that list of potential CEO candidates within a year of the search process. Alfonso was not a finalist for Tampa's CEO job, but the port still had to pay up.

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