02/10/2016 04:06 EST | Updated 02/10/2016 04:59 EST

Kevin Desmond, Seattle Transit GM, Hired As Translink CEO

Kevin Desmond was picked after an international search.


NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. — Metro Vancouver's transit authority has hired a new CEO who currently heads the public transportation system in Seattle.

Kevin Desmond starts his job with TransLink on March 21, replacing an interim CEO who stepped in after a management shakeup following a failed referendum for extra funding.

TransLink says Desmond was hired after an international search and that the King Country Metro Transit system he now manages has parallels to Metro Vancouver's regional transportation system.

Translink saw big changes in management after a referendum for extra funding was voted down last fall. (Photo: Gotovan/Flickr)

The authority says Desmond was part of three successful votes on transit funding in Seattle, including a 2014 ballot initiative that helped expand that system.

Desmond's annual pay will be $365,000 — in the mid-range of the salary approved last fall by the Mayors' Council for TransLink.

Former TransLink CEO Ian Jarvis's $425,000 annual salary and $97,000 bonus were considered factors in last summer's No vote against a 0.5 per cent tax hike to fund more TransLink services.

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