JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With an official offer now on the table, JAXPORT CEO Paul Anderson may soon be jumping ship to Tampa. On Tuesday, The Tampa Port Authority board unanimously selected Anderson to be their next CEO.
"It was a surprise to the port, but I think healthy organizations always know it's a possibility,” said Nancy Rubin, JAXPORT’s senior director of communications.
Action News learned if he leaves, Anderson would be ducking out of his contract early. Anderson is about two years into a three year deal with the port. He makes $320,000 a year.
So, was that money worth it?
"Oh, without a doubt it was worth it. And without a doubt, the leader our board will pick to move forward, should we come to that, will be equally as talented,” Rubin said in response.
But would they be equally as expensive?
In 2010, $100,000 was spent recruiting him in an international CEO search.
But on Wednesday, Rubin said Anderson’s contributions to the port have “brought a significant return on that investment.” Under his leadership, Rubin says they’ve secured $100 million in state and federal funding for local port projects.
The Mayor’s office tell us they hope Anderson decides to stay.
"The Mayor has a lot of support for the leadership that Paul Anderson showed at the port and would hate to see him leave," said David Decamp, spokesman for Mayor Alvin Brown.
But Rubin says even if Anderson does end up leaving for Tampa, local port projects will continue as planned. She says the momentum isn't going anywhere.
"I think we have grown our brand around the world over the last few years, that doesn't go away overnight, not when you've got the kind of team we do here," said Rubin.
AT this time, Anderson remains in negotiation with Tampa but has yet to sign on the dotted line.
JAXPORT is not planning to make a counter-offer.
Selection of a new JAXPORT CEO, if necessary, will be handled by the board of directors.