5:58 am January 26, 2010, by Henry Unger
There’s big news at the airport — Ben DeCosta will be leaving his job at the end of June as general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson.
DeCosta, 64, who’s managed the city of Atlanta-owned airport for 11 years, said in a statement Monday it was time for a “change in direction,” AJC staffer Eric Stirgus reports.
“The time feels right to now move on to new challenges and pass the torch to someone else,” he said.
Mayor Kasim Reed, in his fourth week on the job, said in a statement he will conduct a national search for a replacement. The airport, the world’s busiest, is one of the most important economic engines for the entire region.
DeCosta, a Brooklyn-born gadget aficionado, did not discuss his future plans in his statement, Stirgus writes. He could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
DeCosta’s announcement surprised some city leaders, such as Councilman H. Lamar Willis, who serves on the council’s transportation committee. The city is in the midst of building an international terminal.
DeCosta was likely the highest-paid employee on the city payroll, including the mayor. In March 2007, the City Council approved a three-year contract for DeCosta with an annual salary of $255,000 and a 4-percent yearly increase, Stirgus reports.
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