Travel Log: Job of all Jobs

May 10, 2011

Massport seeks to replace its Executive Director

Looking for a job?

Want to get involved in the fast paced world at Logan Airport?

Do you want to run Logan Airport and Massport?

Think you’re qualified?

If you do, check out the job listing created by Boyden, the global executive search experts who are handling the task of finding a suitable replacement for Massport Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr.

Mr. Kinton will be leaving his post June 1.

On page three of the lengthy, itemized job description, listed under Compensation and Benefits, it says this: “This is an outstanding career opportunity for an individual interested in genuine professional challenge. With this position comes a very competitive compensation and benefits package.”

What the job listing fails to say is that finding someone like Mr. Kinton to replace him is a Herculean task.

He’s done more to change the face of the airport and the aviation world supporting it at Massport than anyone who came before.

Mr. Kinton always remained aloof from state politics. He isn’t your basic, uncomplicated quid pro quo administrator.

He always sought to chart his own course, to go his own way, to put the well being of Massport and the airport well out in front of his own.

The reputation of Massport and his own reputation are dear to him. They always have been.

In every way, he’s epitomized the persona of the true professional – honest, tough, at times uncompromising, but always acting in the perceived best interest of the quasi-public institution he has run so ably over the years.

In the strictest sense, he cannot be replaced anymore than Tom Brady can be replaced at quarterback by the Patriots.

But he will be replaced, and soon.

A number of present Massport executives are being considered to act as his temporary replacement.

Meanwhile, the search team searches.

Then comes the knowledge among those who understand the changing times that no one who replaces Mr. Kinton will receive what he received for salary because the Massachusetts economy has entered a brave new world.

Salaries are not going upward. They are going in the other direction.

This will impact the selection pool of those willing to take lower salaries for the enormous responsibility of running Massport and Logan Airport.

And Mr. Kinton isn’t going to be the only executive leaving Massport.

The expected changing of the guard at Massport to follow Mr. Kinton’s departure will give new opportunities to dozens of others who are slated for replacement.

As the great singer and poet Bob Dylan put it many years ago when he was just starting out: “The times they are a changing.”

Shortly after Mr. Kinton leaves, many others are going to be asked to leave. Massport, in other words, is about to enter a dramatic period of change.

When Mr. Kinton leaves the airport on his last day, the past is prologue, as Shakespeare put it so eleoquently many centuries ago.

Nothing lasts forever.