After abrupt departure, Sound Transit names interim CEO

Goran Sparrman, of infrastructure firm HNTB, will be Sound Transit’s next interim CEO. The board approved a one-year, $385,000 contract.

Goran Sparrman, Sound Transit’s interim CEO (Photo provided by Sound Transit)

Goran Sparrman, Sound Transit’s interim CEO (Photo provided by Sound Transit)

EVERETT — Goran Sparrman was named interim CEO of Sound Transit on Thursday as the agency heads into a pivotal year, as light rail heads north to Snohomish County.

Sparrman comes to Sound Transit from HNTB Corporation, an infrastructure design firm based in Kansas City. Sparrman previously served as HNTB’s vice president and business development officer.

Sparrman has also led city transportation departments in Bellevue and Seattle. HNTB has corporate offices in both cities.

The Sound Transit Board of Directors approved a one-year agreement with Sparrman on Thursday.

“I am looking forward to joining with the dedicated professionals at Sound Transit to celebrate the upcoming successes and tackle the challenges ahead,” Sparrman said in a press release. “By working together creatively and efficiently, I am confident that we will be able to deliver for the residents of our region.”

Sparrman will make a base of salary of $385,000 and a $30,000 signing bonus, “with partial repayment of the bonus if the contract is terminated early.” His contract also includes a $29,000 retention bonus if he stays through the last day of the term, Jan. 12, 2025.

Sparrman will oversee the opening of the Lynnwood Link, bringing light rail service to Snohomish County. Service is expected to begin this year. Light rail is also expected to open this year between South Bellevue to the Redmond Technology Center.

“The Board believes in Goran’s ability to lead the agency through this transformative period of growth while continuing to focus on delivering reliable, frequent, and safe transit service for all our passengers,” Sound Transit Board Chair Dow Constantine said in the press release.

Sparrman’s first day at Sound Transit will be Saturday. Outgoing CEO Julie Timm’s last day is Friday. Timm abruptly resigned in December to care for her ailing father, less than halfway through a three-year contract with the transit agency operating in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties. Annual pay for the job started at $375,000.

In other board news, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and Lynnwood Mayor Christie Frizzell will retain their positions on Sound Transit’s Board of Directors, following County Council approval this week. Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin also serves on the board.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046; jordan.hansen@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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