AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the flow of electricity in the state, announced Brad Jones as its new interim President and CEO — in the wake of mass outages during February’s deadly winter storms and subsequent termination of Bill Magness.
Jones, who previously served as Senior VP and COO, will take the reins effective May 4 for up to one year.
During the Winter Storm Uri and in the weeks after, ERCOT gained global attention for its management of the events, which resulted in seismic shifts within the council, investigations, state legislature hearings, and calls for an operational overhaul.
In the wake of continued outages, Texas Governor Greg Abbott made investigation into the council an emergency item for the current legislative session.
“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable.”
With the spotlight bearing down on the council, several board members resigned, many were harshly criticized for being in charge of Texas’ power flow while living elsewhere — including outside of the U.S.
Then, on March 3, Magness, who’d been with ERCOT since 2010, was given a 60-day termination notice by the council’s board of directors, with no specific reason given. While Magness was eligible to receive a severance package of up to $800,000, he announced he would not accept it.
The ERCOT board says terms of Jones’ engagement will be established within ERCOT and is subject to board approval.
“The Board looks forward to working with Brad during this time as ERCOT prepares for summer operations,” said ERCOT Board Director and HR&G Committee Chair Mark Carpenter. “He is an experienced leader and understands the ERCOT vision and mission.”