Six months after being unexpectedly placed on leave, Joe Stuyvesant has stepped down as president and CEO of the Port of San Diego, a role he had served in since February 2021. Days later a longtime port commissioner, Rafael Castellanos, also resigned.
Both officials’ departures were effective immediately.
Stuyvesant, who was placed on administrative leave in July, officially ended his tenure Jan. 21 after the Board of Port Commissioners accepted his resignation.
When asked why Stuyvesant was placed on paid administrative leave, a port official told PMM Online last summer that the POSD was unable to provide additional information, as personnel matters are confidential.
According to a mutual separation agreement between Stuyvesant and the port, he will collect a year of separation pay – amounting to a little over $370,000 – from the port. In exchange, Stuyvesant has agreed not to sue the port.
“It is with gratitude to the Board of Port Commissioners that I close the chapter on my leadership at the Port of San Diego,” he said Jan. 22. “Without the dedicated staff of professional public servants, there is no port.”
He added that he looks back to his service at the seaport with “a sense of pride in what we accomplished under the leadership of the Board of Port Commissioners and the entire port team. While I will miss being part of the port team, new opportunities have recently presented themselves, and I am excited to pursue them.”
“We thank Joe Stuyvesant for his service to the Port of San Diego,” said Board Chairman Frank Urtasun. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Meanwhile, Randa Coniglio, who previously served as port CEO and president from 2015-2021, returned to the role in July on an acting basis. The port said Coniglio is expected to continue in the role for now.
The port has not initiated a process to find a permanent replacement CEO.
Stuyvesant’s official departure came four days after Castellanos stepped down from the seven-member board, effective immediately. He said at the time that he was returning to his law practice full-time.
Castellanos’ departure came after 11 years on the board. He had about a year left on his most recent four-year appointed term.