Management Turnover as Change Agent

Friday, November 14, 2008

El Paso Electric Finds New CEO

Back in February, El Paso Electric EE (NYSE) (see earlier blog) saw its CEO, Ershel Redd, leave his position after only serving a short time.  El Paso put in place an interim CEO, J. Frank Bates, the company’s EVP and COO.  It took the company nearly ten months to find a successor to Redd.  Yesterday the company annEl Paso electric One Year Stock Performance, Source: BigChartsounced the selection of David W. Stevens as El Paso’s new CEO.  Stevens has key experience in the business.  According to a story by Joann S. Lublin in the Wall Street Journal,

Stevens ran Cascade between April 2005 and its July 2007 takeover by MDU Resources Group Inc. Since the acquisition, he has consulted about energy-industry mergers and acquisitions from Austin, Texas.

Before joining Cascade, Mr. Stevens was a top executive for Southern Union Co., another natural-gas company. El Paso operates “in an area I know well,” he said in an interview. “It fits my historical and regulatory experience very well. 

“The entire El Paso board interviewed the incoming CEO and chose him unanimously, according to one person familiar with the situation. The board spent months seeking Mr. Redd’s replacement partly because his tenure was so brief, the informed person said.


El Paso may have taken a bit long to find the right candidate, yet it seems it has done a commendable job.  Stevens appears to be a very good fit for the position.  Both his relative youth and experience in the industry should serve him well in his new position.  While El Paso did not have a good quarter, Stevens with the help of the interim CEO, J. Frank Bates, who will become the company’s president and remain as COO could be a good team for the firm’s long term performance.Keep a close eye on the transition and any moves Stevens may put in place.  For more:  El Paso Times 

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