Why RIPTA hired another six-figure executive

RIPTA's Al Moscola is now a COO

Rhode Island’s $100K Club just got a little bigger.

RIPTA said Monday it has hired Charles Odimgbe to be its CEO, a newly created top job at the agency. Until now, the head of RIPTA had been its general manager, a position held by Al Moscola since 2002.

But Moscola isn’t leaving; he will now be reporting to Odimgbe. The new CEO and the longtime GM will both make the same $162,219 annual salary, RIPTA Chairman John Rupp told me this morning.

“We’re doing some transitioning, looking at a reorganization,” he said.

If Odimgbe is now RIPTA’s CEO, Moscola will be its COO, or chief operating officer – the guy in charge of executing Odimgbe’s plans and keeping the buses running on time day to day, Rupp said. “Al Moscola is an extremely valuable operations person,” and his expertise will be put to good use in the coming years as the authority transitions to a new fleet of buses, he said. (Moscola will probably get a new job title, but that hasn’t been finalized yet.)

The problem RIPTA’s board has identified – and hopes it has solved with Odimgbe’s hiring – is related to lost opportunities, such as making greater use of its new maintenance facility, that haven’t been addressed because there wasn’t someone with the time to put the wheels in motion, Rupp said. The new CEO will also play a key role as RIPTA moves forward with its ambitious plan to bring streetcars back to Providence.

Update: It’s worth pointing out that our $100K Club story from last night did not include employees who work for the state’s many quasi-public agencies, which include RIPTA, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation and the R.I. Economic Development Corporation. Those are home to some of the biggest salaries in state government, and their payrolls are done separately from the main state database we analyzed.

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