For the second time in a row, the Metro board will make its interim CEO its permanent CEO.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority board on Thursday voted unanimously to open negotiations with Tom Lambert for the permanent president and CEO position.
Lambert, who has led the agency on an interim basis since December 2012, served as Metro’s police chief for more than 28 years and more recently as an executive vice president. He was named interim CEO after George Greanias abruptly resigned.
Lambert, a 35-year Metro employee, initially said he would not be a candidate for the permanent job, and Metro hired a search firm to help it find a new leader. Over time, however, board members grew impressed with the job Lambert was doing and decided he should be considered for the permanent position.
“The chief has done a dynamite job, and his team has done a dynamite job, there is no doubt,” board chairman Gilbert Garcia said, referring to Lambert, during a December meeting with the Houston Chronicle editorial board.
As an earlier story notes, the Metro board hadn’t done much of anything to advance the search for an external candidate, so I guess they are indeed happy with Lambert. I think he’s done a decent job as well, though he does have some big challenges ahead, from reimagining bus routes to dealing with railcar shortages, and hopefully to restart the conversation about more rail lines in the future. I wish him the best of luck with these tasks. The Metro blog has more.