Oakland airport director departs for big new role outside the Bay Area

The Oakland aviation leader is landing at an airport that plans a major overhaul, which will include more gates, a new terminal, and improved parking.

Oakland airport director departs for big new role outside the Bay Area

According to a City of Cleveland announcement made on Monday, Bryant Francis will be the new director of aviation for the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. He will begin his duties there on May 24.

Bryant has held his current position in Oakland, after being selected by Korn-Ferry following a nationwide search. The pandemic and growth at Oakland International Airport have been the highlights of his tenure. Last year, more than 10 million passengers traveled through Oakland Airport. The airport employs over 200 people.

Francis will oversee a major overhaul at the Cleveland Airport.

Francis, 49, stated in a press release that he was 'thrilled' to have been selected to lead the Cleveland team and he looked forward to starting this new chapter in his career. This is the beginning of a transformation at Cleveland Hopkins, and I'm excited to use my experience in shaping and managing such a landmark initiative.

Francis' last day working at the Oakland Airport is May 5. A spokesperson confirmed Monday that plans will be made to fill Francis' position.

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports that Francis' salary will be $365,000. The Cleveland Business Times and the San Francisco Business Times are both owned by the same company.

Francis was hired by Cleveland because of his "tremendous" success in Oakland, and his people skills.

Justin Bibb, the Cleveland mayor said: 'I'm delighted to bring Bryant to Cleveland during this crucial time for our airport's system.' He is a leader we know will be able to jumpstart our $2 billion 20-year plan for Cleveland Hopkins Airport and transform it into a world class airport for our region and city.

Francis has more than 25 year's experience in aviation management, including serving as an airport director in Long Beach, California and Shreveport in Louisiana. He has also held executive positions at airports located in Palm Springs and Detroit, as well as Boise, Idaho.

Bonnie Teeuwen told The Plain Dealer that 'He has experience in all the areas we will be dealing with -- leasing negotiations with airlines, capital improvement, and business development'. Also, he is a nice and likable person.

Francis was interviewed by Business Times in 2016 for a Executive Profile. He discussed the importance effective communication when running an airport.

When asked what the most difficult lesson was that he learned, Francis replied: "Words are often received in a different way from the intended meaning and can have a lasting impact."

Francis told an interviewer in 2016 that he should 'choose your words and the way you deliver them very carefully'. He described himself as "a pretty approachable person" who was relatable, respectful, and relatable.