OAKLAND -- The Port of Oakland appointed a new director Thursday after a four-month search prompted after a spending scandal that forced out the previous director, Omar Benjamin.

The new top director, Chris Lytle, will take over on July 1 and is expected to focus on growing the Port's maritime and aviation business.

He will leave his post as the executive director of the Port of Long Beach, where he has worked since 2006 when he was hired as one of the managing directors overseeing trade relations and port operations bureau. He was the deputy executive director and chief operating officer at the Port of Long Beach from 2008 to 2011, when he became the executive director. He previously worked for the French-based shipping line CMA CGM; P&O Ports North America; Denmark-based APM (Maersk) Terminals; and Sea-Land Service, Inc., where he was based in Oakland from 1992 until 1995.

Lytle will replace the acting director, Deborah Ale Flint, selected by Port commissioners in November after Benjamin resigned over expenses charged at a strip club and passed off to the Port for reimbursement.

Port of Oakland officials welcome Lytle as a leader with a track record for driving up business while tackling environmental issues from trucking and involving the community.



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