George Greanias, appointed to lead the Metropolitan Transit Authority in September 2010 after political squabbling and inefficiencies led to widespread criticism of the bus and train system, is resigning, a Metro spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
Greanias has stated his intent to resign from his position as president and chief executive officer, but a formal letter isn’t expected until Monday, said spokeswoman Margaret O’Brien-Molina.
Metro’s board of directors will discuss Greanias’ departure Thursday. A closed session scheduled at the end of the board’s monthly meeting includes “consideration of the resignation of the president and CEO,” as well as consideration of a transition and consulting agreement with Greanias and appointment of an interim chief executive.
Greanias took over an agency mired in problems related to the expansion of light rail. Greanias, who had no transit agency experience, was tasked with turning the agency around. His first step, he said in a recent speech to the Greater Houston Partnership, was to change Metro’s internal culture.
“When I got there, the employees were afraid to raise their hands and make decisions,” he said.
Frank Wilson, Greanias’ predecessor, agreed to leave after months of rancor over the validity of the agency’s rail efforts, and after scandals about money mismanagement and alleged document shredding worsened Metro’s image.
[Mayor Annise] Parker campaigned in 2009 on a platform to clean up Metro. She appointed five new members to the nine-member board, and the new board hired Greanias, who had deep ties to the city and once ran for mayor.
Greanias did a great job at Metro, and accomplished pretty much everything he set out to do. He was an excellent hire by the Board, which has also done some fine work in the time they’ve been there. No question that Metro is in a much better position now than it was when Greanias took over as CEO, and whoever is hired to replace him will have some large shoes to fill. Best of luck with whatever comes next, George Greanias.