Exclusive: CEO Hayden quitting PavCo

Stadium, convention centre boss Cretney gets promotion

More turmoil at the top of B.C. Pavilion Corporation, the money-losing, taxpayer-owned entity which operates B.C. Place Stadium and Vancouver Convention Centre.

Interim chief executive officer Dana Hayden is quitting at the end of January “to pursue” an undisclosed “new opportunity,” according to a memo circulated to staff that was provided to me by a source.

Dana Hayden: exiting PavCo
Dana Hayden: exiting PavCo

Taking over is Ken Cretney, PavCo’s chief operating officer. Cretney became COO in May 2013 when, the week after the B.C. Liberals won the provincial election, B.C. Place general manager Howard Crosley was fired. Now Cretney is wearing both CEO and COO hats for the time being. For the last fiscal year, he was the highest-paid PavCo executive at $338,458.

Hayden, who was paid $203,905 last fiscal year, was seconded from her job as deputy minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation in summer 2012 to replace Warren Buckley, who suddenly quit one of the highest-paid public service jobs in the province. No permanent replacement for Buckley was sought. Hayden is a former CEO of the Crown Agencies Secretariat and of the B.C. Lottery Corp. The latter assignment came about when Vic Poleschuk was fired in 2007 after a damning Ombudsperson report on BCLC’s lax security. (Great Canadian Gaming Corp. hired Poleschuk in 2010.)

Hayden was the deputy to Minister Pat Bell when the BC Liberal government controversially scuttled the stadium naming right agreement with Telus in February 2012 and she was involved in the $15.2 million settlement that summer, which was quietly negotiated and only made public in spring 2013 after my Freedom of Information requestAlso under Hayden’s watch? The renegotiated 2013 lease deal with Paragon Gaming, which is pushing to build a casino/hotel complex on PavCo land west of B.C. Place.

Hayden was also named interim CEO of Destination BC in March 2013. Ex-BCLC executive Marsha Walden was hired as the tourism marketing Crown corporation’s permanent CEO in November 2013.

PavCo's Ken Cretney
PavCo’s Ken Cretney

Hayden’s resignation will, coincidentally, be effective a month before the NHL Heritage Classic at B.C. Place and the week before the opening of a blockbuster British Columbia Supreme Court trial over the renovated stadium’s roof steel and cable cost overruns. Quebec-based steel contractor Canam and French-headquartered cable subcontractor Freyssinet have booked more than 100 days of court time. PavCo was named as a secondary defendant in the Freyssinet lawsuit for $6.5 million. Canam’s claim is $40 million. Opening statements are scheduled for Feb. 3.

Hayden’s memo

Colleagues:

I would like to let you know that I will be leaving PavCo at the end of January 2014 to pursue a new opportunity. After almost 18 months in the role of Interim President & CEO, I have made the decision to move on in my career as I felt the time was right.

PavCo is a great company, made that way because of all those of you who work here.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your hard work during my time here. I believe that we have achieved some real successes. I also know that there are more in PavCo’s future!

Starting in February 2014, Ken Cretney will take on the role of Interim President & CEO while the PavCo Board considers its next steps in terms of CEO recruitment.

Thank you again for your diligence and hard work over the last 16 months. I look forward to working with you until the end of January, and wish you all well for the future.


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