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BC Hydro shakes up C-level management after political change

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BC Hydro has shaken up its top leadership by firing CEO Jessica McDonald amidst a governmental shift in British Columbia.

The province-run Vancouver-based utility announced late last week that the contract with McDonald was terminated. Chris O’Riley was appointed as president in the wake of McDonald’s dismissal.

BC Hydro’s board of directors has consolidated leadership at BC Hydro,” read the utility statement on the moves. “The board wishes to express its sincere gratitude to Ms. McDonald for her exemplary leadership of and dedicated service to BC Hydro and recognizes the profound impact her vision, innovative thinking and unwavering commitment to excellence has had, and will continue to have, on the company.”

The die may have been cast previously when the New Democratic Party took the reins in mid-July. The NDP appointed former Powerex CEO Kenneth Peterson to replace Brad Bennett as chair of the BC Hydro board.

McDonald herself was previously a deputy minister for the Liberal Party which ran British Columbia’s government prior to this month’s defeat. O’Riley was deputy CEO at BC Hydro for the past two years and a member of the executive team since 2007.

He started with the utility 27 years ago.

BC Hydro, which is owned by government of British Columbia, operates 31 hydroelectric facilities and two thermal generating plants. It delivers that electricity to close to 2 million customers through more 78,000 kilometers of transmission and distribution lines.

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