Pat Foye, executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is planning to step down, the agency announced Thursday.

The Port Authority issued a statement late Thursday afternoon announcing that Foye plans to leave the agency within 120 days and has asked that his name be removed from consideration to take on a newly created chief executive officer role the authority is planning.

The agency's commissioners decided last December with the support of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to eliminate the executive director role and replace it with a new CEO position. Foye, who has been Port Authority executive director since November 2011, will work with the Board of Commissioners in his remaining days with the agency to help put an interim team in place until the search for a permanent CEO is completed, according to the authority.

Prior to joining the Port Authority, Foye was deputy secretary for economic development under Gov. Cuomo. Foye also worked as a mergers and acquisitions partner at Skadden Arps and managing partner of the firm's Brussels, Budapest and Moscow offices. Previously he was executive vice president for AIMCO, a real estate investment trust.

The Port Authority's Board of Commissioners was hoping to have a CEO recommendation this month after appointing a search committee to work with executive search firm Spencer Stuart, but announced Thursday that the process is being extended. The search committee suggested broadening the CEO search to reflect recent progress.

"In the past year, the Port Authority has committed itself to a number of projects, such as a modernized LaGuardia Airport, a new Bus Terminal, and most recently the new responsibility of leading the Gateway program, all of which are some of the largest transportation projects in the country," said Port Authority Vice Chairman Scott Rechler in a statement. "Therefore, it makes sense for us to pause to ensure that we have factored that into our selection process and candidate selection."

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