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TTC CEO Rick Leary announces resignation

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TTC CEO Rick Leary has announced that he will be stepping down from his position at the end of the summer.

During a news conference on Thursday afternoon, the head of the transit agency confirmed that he tendered his resignation this morning and it was approved by the board at today's meeting.

He said his resignation is effective Aug. 30.

"I was recognized for 10 years of service here at the TTC last month. I can tell you what an incredible 10 years it has been. I’d go as far as saying that this has been the most rewarding experience in my four decades in public transit," Leary said.

"But for many people, a decade in any job also brings with it some self-reflection when it comes to personal and professional goals and objectives. This year I turned 61 years old and believe there are some new opportunities and challenges awaiting me. I’m not going to fully retire."

Leary said before he left his post, he wanted to ensure that he saw the TTC through the recent labour negotiations with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) 113, the union representing more than 11,000 frontline TTC workers.

"Some will ask about the timing of this announcement and I’m going to say that’s fair. For me it was about seeing that one last major undertaking over the finish line, and that was the new collective agreement with the ATU 113, out largest union partner," he said.

"I believe it was my duty and obligation to ensure that a new agreement was in place before I stepped down. And if we had not reached an agreement, I needed to be here to steer the organization through a labour disruption but thankfully that did not happen."

Leary joined the TTC in 2014 when he says he was "lured away" from York Region Transit by former CEO Andy Byford.

He first held the role of Chief Service Operator before becoming the transit agency's permanent CEO in 2018.

Leary said he was proud to be apart of a number of "firsts" for the TTC, including hiring the first ever chief of diversity and culture.

He went on to thank his colleagues, as well as Mayor Olivia Chow and former mayor John Tory.

"I want to thank the former chair of York Region Bill Fisch for taking a chance on a guy from Boston to lead York Region Transit back in 2009," Leary said. "Moving here opened the door for me for fulfilling a dream of becoming a Canadian citizen like the hockey heroes of my childhood."

TTC Chair Jamaal Myers said the TTC is “grateful" to Leary for his "contributions to the TTC’s successes over the past decade.”

“Rick has decided to pursue new opportunities, and I am sure he will share his plans with you at an appropriate time and forum. For now, we take this opportunity to acknowledge his many contributions to the great legacy of the TTC and wish him well in all of his future endeavours,” Myers said in a statement.

He added that the TTC will “announce next steps,” including plans for an interim CEO, in the coming weeks. 

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