Rail boss becomes port boss

The board of the Freeport of Riga in a June 28 meeting unanimously approved Latvijas Dzelzcels railroad company's council chairman Ansis Zeltins as the port’s new boss, reported LETA news agency.

A commission assessing candidates for the Freeport of Riga CEO has recommended Zeltins for the position upon assessing 24 candidates in several rounds of a public tender. Before he can take office as Freeport of Riga CEO, Zeltins’ candidacy has to be approved by Transport Minister Uldis Augulis (Greens/Farmers).

According to the law on ports, the final decision on Zeltins’ appointment will be taken at another meeting of the Freeport of Riga Board, which will be called once the candidate is approved by the transport minister.

“I am glad that despite skeptics’ remarks the right candidate for the position of Freeport of Riga CEO has been picked in a relatively short period of time and in a public tender. Both the tender’s commission, which unanimously decided to propose Zeltins’ candidacy to the Freeport of Riga Board after he received the highest number of points in the second and third round of the tender, and the Freeport of Riga Board, which gave its full support to his appointment, have given a high assessment of Zeltins’ qualification and experience,” said Freeport of Riga Board Chairman Andris Ameriks (Honor to Serve Riga).

According to Latvijas Dzelzcels website, Zeltins has a Master's degree in business management from the University of Salford and Master's degree in oceanic transport from the Latvian Maritime Academy.

Since 2000, Zeltins has been working at various transport companies, including the Maritime Administration, shipping company Latvijas Kugnieciba's subsidiaries LSC Marine Training and LSC Shipmanagement. He has also worked as transport advisor at the Latvian Representation in the European Union.

As reported, applicants for the job had to have higher education in management, finance, economy, engineering, transport or maritime education. The candidates also had to have the experience of working in an executive position, for a private or public company or organization, for at least five years. All candidates must have perfect command of Latvian and - at the very least - speak English and Russian.

The previous Freeport of Riga CEO Loginovs stepped down effective March 10. He had been the freeport's CEO since 1998.

The position of port boss is one of the most important and lucrative in the country. Loginovs managed to bat away numerous attempts to unseat him amid criticism of the often opaque and politically-influenced practises of the business.

The board of the port consists of political appointees: four from Riga City Council, and four officials, nominated by the Cabinet – the representatives nominated by the Minister of Economy, Minister of Finance, Minister of Transport and Minister of Environmental Protection.

Around 20,000 people are employed at the port, making it one of the biggest and richest institutions in the country.

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