PIER 39 ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT AND CEO WILL TAKE HELM IN 2023
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San Francisco, CA, June 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- San Francisco - PIER 39, the shopping, dining and attraction complex headquartered in San Francisco, CA, announced management changes today. Effective on December 31, 2022, PIER 39 President and Chief Executive Officer, Taylor Safford, will be retiring. The company announced that he will be succeeded by current Chief Financial Officer, Scott Gentner, who will assume the interim role of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in July and will become President and CEO at the end of the year. Gentner will oversee all aspects of the PIER 39 Companies, including ferry and tour boat operator, Blue & Gold Fleet.
“I am both honored and humbled to succeed Taylor in this leadership role in the company. I have admired his intelligence, professionalism, and mentorship throughout our 10 years of working closely together. Representing PIER 39, the top attraction in San Francisco, and collaborating with our tenants, leadership team, and the employees of our various companies, is the highest compliment I could receive,” said Gentner. “I am appreciative and excited for this opportunity.”
Since joining PIER 39 in 2012, Gentner has had responsibility for all finance, accounting, risk management, and information technology and has worked closely with operating departments throughout the organization. Previously, Gentner worked extensively in senior financial positions with private equity-owned manufacturing and distribution companies. Gentner also spent nine years with KPMG, LLP in both London and San Francisco, where he held the position of Senior Manager of Transaction Services, focusing on due diligence and transaction structuring. Gentner earned his CPA while at KPMG and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley.
“While it has been a challenging couple of years, PIER 39 has maintained tenancy and seen promising signs of recovery and growth,” comments Gentner. “We are seeing visitation continue to accelerate, thanks to our wonderful waterfront location, the dedication of our employees, and a vibrant mix of retail, restaurants and attractions.” Gentner will be responsible for all of the PIER 39 Companies’ divisions and affiliated entities, including Blue & Gold Fleet, Moor+South Pier Management Company, Tandem Partnerships, and Bay Marina Management, Inc, as well as the world-famous PIER 39 shopping, dining and entertainment complex.
Pre-pandemic, PIER 39 welcomed over 15 million local, domestic, and international visitors per year and was ranked the Most Visited Attraction in San Francisco. The San Francisco Travel Association conducts a Visitor Profile Study every 4 years and PIER 39 has held the top spot since 2010.
Much of PIER 39’s success is due to retiring Chief Executive Taylor Safford, who has held the role for a decade. Safford began his career with PIER 39 in 1979. After rising to Controller of the company’s restaurant division in 1985, he became CFO at Blue & Gold Fleet in 1997 and was appointed President there in 2006. In 2012 Safford was promoted to his current role at PIER 39.
Safford earned his BA and MBA from San Francisco State University. In addition to his service on the SFSU Foundation Board of Directors, he also serves on the board of the San Francisco Tourism Improvement District. His past board service includes the United States Travel Association, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and San Francisco Travel Association. He is also a past trustee for the Inland Boatman’s Union Health and Pension Trusts.
“I have had a fantastic career at PIER 39,” says Safford. “Working to make The PIER the most memorable and fun attraction for both locals and visitors is the best career I could’ve imagined. I’ve been fortunate to work with a talented and devoted management team, imaginative tenants, and of course our 500 or so dedicated employees. The relationships I’ve developed through partnerships with the Port of San Francisco, city officials, and industry organizations have been vital to creating the experience we have here at the PIER.” Safford adds about his career, “I wouldn’t have done it any other way.”
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PIER 39 is a 45-acre waterfront property that is a gathering place for locals and visitors. The PIER is a two-level open-air marketplace featuring over 100 restaurants, shops and attractions, all surrounded by iconic views of the bay and San Francisco landmarks. PIER 39 also includes a five-acre waterfront park and 300-berth marina, home to the world-famous California Sea Lions. PIER 39 is a tenant of the Port of San Francisco. Visit www.pier39.com.
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