CL&P's Butler resigns, other senior leadership changes

Jessica Hill/AP File Photo In this Nov. 6, 2011 AP file photo, President and Chief Operating Officer of Connecticut Light & Power, Jeffrey D. Butler, center, waits to speak with the media during a news conference at the Emergency Operations Center at the Hartford Armory in Hartford.

Jeffrey D. Butler, the face of Connecticut Light & Power Company during the embattled company’s response to the October snowstorm and Tropical Storm Irene, has resigned, effective immediately, the parent company has announced.

Charles W. Shivery, Northeast Utilities’ chairman, president and chief executive officer, announced changes in senior leadership today, as well as changes in emergency preparedness at CL&P.

The company will undertake a national search for a successor for Butler, who was president and chief operating officer. James A. Muntz, NU president for transmission, will replace Butler temporarily.

“We reluctantly accepted Jeff’s resignation,” Shivery said in a statement.  “His commitment and dedication on behalf of our company, employees and customers have been exceptional.  We thank him for his important contribution to NU, CL&P and the community.  We wish him all the best.”

The company has come under strong and persistent criticism from the governor, lawmakers and the public for delays in restoring power during the storms.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is visiting troops in Afghanistan, said through his senior advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, that he had made clear to NU that the parent company needed to address “management issues,” and anticipates other organizational changes at CL&P in the aftermath of the storms.

 “It’s clear that process has begun,” Malloy said in a statement.

Shivery also has named William J. Quinlan to serve in a new position as senior vice president of emergency preparedness. Quinlan will coordinate the company’s participation in the various post-storm reviews being conducted, including the governor’s review of utility restoration by Witt Associates and interact with city and town leaders.

Quinlan, CL&P’s vice president of Customer Solutions, has more than 25 years of operational, legal, regulatory, technology and business experience at CL&P. His previous experience includes overseeing distribution, operations and maintenance.  He also has worked closely with the towns and the state following Tropical Storm Irene.

Quinlan will continue to report to the president and chief operating officer of CL&P.

Dana Louth, currently vice president of Asset Strategy, has been named to the new position of vice president of CL&P Infrastructure Hardening, reporting to Quinlan, the company said. Louth is a 35-year CL&P veteran with extensive experience in the design and maintenance of electric systems, and will work to strengthen the resiliency of the electric system.

Hardening of infrastructure involves structural work, tree and vegetation management, and installing systems underground to make it more resistant to weather related events. 

Shivery also has retained Davies Consulting, Inc., an internationally recognized consulting firm, to perform a thorough evaluation of CL&P’s preparedness and response to recent storms. A final report is due in early February, Shivery said.

“I am proud of our employees and their hard work in response to these historic storms,” said Shivery.  “Today’s changes are major steps to help CL&P and our employees better meet future challenges.  There are still things to learn, but with winter coming these were changes I knew we should and could make right now.”

Butler was not available for comment, a company spokesman said.

 

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