RICHMOND -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe is shaking up the board that controls Virginia's ports.
McAuliffe announced Thursday that he's replacing five members of the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners in attempt to improve the authority's fiscal management and return it profitability.
"I want profitibility out of this port. I want us to be a global leader. I have publically said that I want Virginia, our port, to be the number one agriculture exporter on the East Coast," McAuliffe said.
The new Democratic governor had telegraphed the changes during an address last week at a Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce gathering. McAuliffe had ordered a review of the port's finances in January and said the port has lost $120 million over the last five years.
"The data that we were given from the port was late, and then on top of that, it tended to be inaccurate," Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Lane said.
Already, McAuliffe is working on making a name for Hampton Roads internationally.
"I've met with ambassadors from China, France, Vietnam and Japan. I had the Prime Minister of Qatar in Richmond the other day, all talking about exports. We can do these big deals. We can increase our exports. But we have to be able to get them to the port efficiently and in a timely manner. Those ports have to send exports out and bring imports in. It works both sides," McAuliffe said.
McAuliffe's shakeup of the board comes three years after former Gov. Bob McDonnell replaced 10 of the 11 members of the board selected by the governor. One of McAuliffe's new picks, attorney John G. Milliken, was removed by McDonnell.