The utility headquartered here announced Tuesday that Bruce Williams, 51, will succeed on July 5. Williamson was most recently CEO and president of Dynegy in Houston, Texas.
Madison, 62, will continue as vice chairman of the board until he retires on Dec. 31.
“Mike successfully led us through the largest investment and expansion program the company has ever undertaken,” Cleco board Chairman Patrick Garrett said in the news release. “His contributions to Cleco are long-lasting and have placed us on a very strong financial foundation as the company looks to its future.”
Williamson is widely credited with keeping Dynegy out of bankruptcy in the years following the Enron collapse. Williamson refinanced loans, sold assets and cut costs at Dynegy, whose business model had mirrored Enron’s, according to published reports in Houston.
Williamson was forced out in March after private equity buy-out deals he helped set up were rejected by stockholders.
Before Dynegy, Williamson was “a member of the leadership at Duke Energy Corp.” in Houston, according to Cleco’s news release.
Earlier, Williamson worked at Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co. in charge of finance and corporate development. Duke, an electricity provider, later bought out Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Co., then named PanEnergy, a natural gas transmission company.
“Cleco has positioned itself exceptionally well for customers and shareholders with the additions it has made to its regulated fleet, while at the same time reducing its exposure to the unregulated merchant power business,” Williamson said in the Cleco news release.
“In doing so, the company has dramatically strengthened its financial position and its ability to look for new opportunities to capture value,” he said.