Top US oil export port starts search for new CEO

Top US oil export port starts search for new CEO


By Arathy Somasekhar

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Officials at the Port of Corpus Christi, the largest US oil export port by volume, said on Wednesday they plan to appoint an interim chief soon and look for a new CEO.

The move comes a day after Sean Strawbridge, the port’s CEO since 2018, resigned at a committee meeting where he was questioned about his business spending.

“All of my expenses, to the best of my knowledge, are in compliance with state port policies and bylaws, and all have passed the internal review and approval process,” Strawbridge said in an interview with Reuters.

His firing had been “in the works for a while,” said Strawbridge, who called it “purely a personal decision.”

Port commissioners did not respond to requests for comment.

Strawbridge, whose resignation is effective June 2, increased the port’s operating income by 76.5% to $162.3 million between 2017 and 2022, while operating expenses rose 29%, according to official summaries.

During his tenure, the port launched a project to deepen and widen the shipping channel into the port, expanded its role in liquefied natural gas exports, and this year applied to become a hydrogen hub under a grant program of the Department of Energy.

“I am leaving the facility in much better shape than when I arrived,” said Strawbridge.

The Port of Corpus Christi Commission approved a separation agreement and severance pay, officials said in Wednesday’s statement. Strawbridge refused to discuss the terms of his divorce agreement.

“I’ve spent quite a bit of my career in the private equity world,” Strawbridge said, adding that he expects to seek employment as an advisor to infrastructure funds.

(Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; editing by Marguerita Choy)