TRANSLINK on Tuesday announced that CEO Kevin Desmond has advised the Board of Directors that he will be leaving the organization in February 2021. After almost five years as CEO, Desmond is stepping away from his role and returning to the U.S. where he will be seeking new career challenges.
“We want to thank Kevin for his outstanding leadership of TransLink since 2016,” said TransLink Board of Directors Chair Tony Gugliotta. “During his tenure, TransLink has earned the trust and confidence of our customers, the communities we serve, and all levels of government. Without a doubt, we are sorry to see him step away from the CEO role, but Kevin is leaving behind an organization that is stronger and more responsive to our customers and our communities, and better prepared than ever for the future. We will now turn our attention to recruiting a new Chief Executive Officer to take on our next challenges as an organization – which includes a focus on rebuilding our ridership coming out of the pandemic.”
“Kevin’s leadership has been instrumental in advancing the Mayors’ 10-Year Vision which has expanded transit and improved service throughout the Metro Vancouver region,” said Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation Chair, Jonathan X. Coté. “We have seen how much we can accomplish when the Mayors and TransLink are working together and I have very much appreciated Kevin’s leadership in bringing us all together to serve the common cause of making our Metro Vancouver region a better place to live and work.”
Desmond has been TransLink CEO since 2016. During his five-year tenure, TransLink has led North America in ridership growth for three consecutive years, was named North America’s Transit System of the Year, reached new highs in customer satisfaction and on-time performance, and implemented significant increases in bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus and HandyDart service throughout the region. Over the last five years, TransLink has earned approval for two Investment Plans unleashing over $9 billion in new transit expansion projects; implemented “tap to pay” fare gates; introduced 10-minute SeaBus service, new RapidBus service, and Double-Decker buses; developed a touchless faregate system for people with disabilities, brought Seth Rogen’s voice to transit, and delivered an industry-leading T2050 public engagement initiative.
“It’s been an honour to serve this great region,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “When I arrived in 2016, I knew we already had a world-class transit system and I’m proud to have helped expand the breadth and depth of our services with a relentless commitment to our customers and public accountability. These achievements are thanks to a diverse team of nearly 8,000 employees across the enterprise committed to safety, reliability, a positive customer experience and improved public engagement. We have accomplished so much together.”
The TransLink Board of Directors will retain an executive search firm and immediately begin a global search for the next CEO. The Board is seeking candidates who will continue the momentum of the last five years including an ongoing commitment to TransLink’s values of openness and transparency with the public; a proven ability to advance the delivery of industry-leading customer experience in a transit system that is safe, reliable and convenient; and an ability to lead and manage within TransLink’s unique governance model.