Deputy Palo Alto city manager leaves for job in another city

Palo Alto Deputy City Manager Rob de Geus

Daily Post Staff Writer

Palo Alto Deputy City Manager Rob de Geus is leaving next month after 19 years to become the city manager of Westlake Village, a city of 8,440 in Los Angeles County.

“The recruitment of Rob to the next level as a city manager is testament to the high caliber of our employees who are sought after by other cities,” City Manager Ed Shikada said in a statement Friday (Jan. 18). “Rob has been with Palo Alto for nearly two decades, and this is a great opportunity for him both professionally and personally.”

De Geus has worked for the city since 2000, when he was hired as a recreation coordinator in the Community Services Department. He was promoted to community services director before becoming deputy city manager in 2017.

Shikada said that he hadn’t made any decisions in terms of recruiting for the position, but that it would be part of the “ongoing organizational assessment about how best to prioritize resources and personnel across the city.”

De Geus had been managing the city’s Transportation Department since August, when former Chief Transportation Official Josh Mello left for a job at Google.

City Hall has seen high turnover in the last nine months, leaving a number of top positions open.

Since April, Planning Director Hillary Gitelman, CFO Lalo Perez, Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental, City Manager Jim Keene and Fire Chief Eric Nickel have left their positions.

Keene and Perez retired. Nickel was hired as fire chief in Santa Barbara. Gitelman took a consulting job and Reichental went to Oracle days after a resident filed a complaint about him with the Fair Political Practices Commission.