San Diego Business Journal

Port Approves Severance Agreement, Mutual Release for Controversial CEO

By Brad Graves Friday, July 25, 2014

Wayne Darbeau is leaving his job as CEO of the Port of San Diego following a controversy.

The Board of Port Commissioners, meeting July 25, approved a severance agreement and mutual release on a 6-1 vote, with Commissioner Robert Valderrama dissenting.

Darbeau is on paid administrative leave through Dec. 30, when his employment will end.

Commissioners named John Bolduc as the port’s acting president and CEO.

Darbeau has been at the center of a controversy over a port tenant hiring his son. The agreement and release, however, does not specify why the commission voted as it did. The document says simply that the board does not believe Darbeau should continue to serve as executive director of the district. A spokesman for the board of port commissioners said board members were limited to what they could say because the issue was a personnel matter.

Darbeau had reportedly sought a summer job for his son with various clients of the port. U-T San Diego reported that one of the major port tenants Pasha Automotive Services hired Darbeau’s son in the summer of 2012.

Darbeau was appointed president and CEO of the port in December of 2010. He has been an employee for 17 years.