Port of Seattle chooses business executive Ted Fick as new CEO


(SEATTLE) — The Port of Seattle Commission has selected the next CEO for the Port of Seattle. Ted J. Fick, a Tacoma native with decades of experience leading manufacturing organizations across the country, will take the helm when current CEO Tay Yoshitani retires next month.

Commissioners must vote on his appointment in public session. The vote is scheduled for their next meeting on Sept. 11, when Fick will be introduced to the community. A media availability will be held shortly after the formal vote.

“Ted has the right combination of skills and dynamic leadership to help the Port of Seattle thrive in the globally competitive environment ports face today. He brings the fresh perspective and breadth of experience we need to help our region generate new jobs and economic growth,” said Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire.

Commission Co-President Stephanie Bowman appreciates the varied experience Fick will bring to the position. “Ted’s experience across multiple facets of the supply chain, coupled with an ability to manage organizations through growth and change, make him the right leader at the right time,” she said.

Fick has over 25 years of leadership experience in major manufacturing and transportation organizations — including oversight of international operations. He spent many years working in the Puget Sound region’s manufacturing and industrial community, beginning at his family’s Tacoma-based company, Fick Foundry. He then spent many years at PACCAR, one of the Pacific Northwest’s primary manufacturers holding leadership positions in both PACCAR and their division Kenworth.

In 2000, he left the PNW and has since held multiple leadership positions in transportation and manufacturing companies. Most recently, he served as CEO of Polar Corp., a $475 million trailer and component parts manufacturer in Minnesota. In that position, he oversaw three operating divisions, multiple manufacturing plants, and a work force of over 2,000 represented and non-represented employees. 

“I am honored to join the Port of Seattle, an organization I’ve depended on, worked with and admired throughout my career,” said Fick. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the highly-skilled team of people that keep the port humming every day, and I can’t wait to join them as we work together to generate 100,000 more jobs for the Puget Sound region.”

Fick will begin work on Sept. 29.

The commission began a nationwide search for a new CEO in early 2014. Yoshitani, who joined the port in 2007, will retire on Sept. 30.

By Professional Mariner Staff