The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) and the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced the appointments of Julie Gascon and Peter Xotta, respectively, as president and CEO.
Gascon is a passionate advocate of marine transportation and has held a number of strategic positions with Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard. She is currently president and CEO of the Pacific Pilotage Authority. She will take up her new position on February 12, 2024.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to welcome Julie Gascon to the MPA. Her wealth of experience and exemplary career path attest both to her great thoroughness and her innate leadership skills in managing multidisciplinary teams. I am certain that her qualities will enable us not only to continue our current projects, but give them fresh impetus,” said Nathalie Pilon, chair of the Board of Directors. “I would also like to thank the current management team for their contribution, starting with Geneviève Deschamps, who will continue to act as interim CEO until Ms. Julie Gascon takes over,” she added.
Hailing from Greater Montreal, Gascon began her career in public service as a graduate of the Canadian Coast Guard College. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Montreal, and a bachelor’s degree of Technology in Nautical Sciences from the University College of Cape Breton.
Gascon spent most of her seafaring career sailing on Canadian Coast Guard ships. Starting on the West Coast fleet in 1998, she also spent time on the worldwide fleet on very large crude carriers and large passenger vessels to complete her Master Mariner certification. After holding a number of strategic positions within Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard, she joined the Pacific Pilotage Authority.
“The Port of Montreal is a great institution in the marine community, and I look forward to joining a strong team and contributing to the success of a strategic asset for Quebec and the rest of Canada alike. I thank the Board of Directors for their confidence in me and welcome the opportunity to work closely with both the industry and the many communities we serve, to extend the Port of Montreal’s reach even further,” said Julie Gascon.
Xotta’s appointment is effective Monday, December 4, 2023. This appointment follows a comprehensive and competitive global executive search process facilitated by Korn Ferry.
“I am pleased that the Port of Vancouver—and all Canadians—will benefit from Peter’s leadership as president and CEO of the port authority that oversees Canada’s largest port,” said Cathy McLay, chair of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority board. “As an experienced transportation executive with a track record of collaboration and success, Peter will continue to advance Canada’s position as a global trading partner while honouring Indigenous peoples, protecting the environment and supporting local communities.”
Xotta most recently served as vice president, operations and supply chain for the port authority, where he was responsible for land and marine operations, health, safety and security, and port and supply chain optimization activities.
“It is my honour to lead an incredibly talented and dedicated team at the port authority,” said Xotta. “I have had the privilege of being part of our team’s work in growing Canada’s trade, facilitating the safe movement of goods through the port, while protecting the environment, and bringing benefits to neighbouring communities. I look forward to continued collaboration with all levels of government, Indigenous groups, customers, tenants, transportation partners, labour, and communities as we prepare for continued growth in Canadian trade.”
Throughout his career, Peter has successfully led diverse portfolios including business development and strategic projects. He is passionate about collaborating with customers to find innovative solutions to make Western Canada’s gateway more efficient and resilient. Peter was heavily involved in the port authority’s work with local partners to secure funding for infrastructure projects to improve the goods movement to and from the port to support Canada’s competitiveness in international trade. He also led the organization’s port and supply chain optimization, including Active Vessel Traffic Management Program and other supply chain visibility initiatives.
Xotta has a master of business administration degree from Simon Fraser University’s Segal Graduate School of Business and has served as a mentor in the program. He is the vice chair of the Burnaby Hospital Foundation. He also sits on the board of the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the Freight Management Association of Canada, and the Clear Seas Centre for Responsible Marine Shipping. He is the former chair of Canada Place Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.
Featured image Peter Xotta (left) and Julie Gascon. (Vancouver Fraser Port Authority/Montreal Port Authority)