LIPA Appoints New Leader After Sandy

The Long Island Power Authority appointed a new chief operating officer to fill the vacancy left when his predecessor resigned after a wave of criticism over the utility’s response to Superstorm Sandy.

LIPA board members Thursday voted in utility veteran John D. McMahon, the former CEO of Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc. Most recently, he’s been working as an industry consultant.

“John is coming to LIPA at a critical time in its history and we are excited about the expertise he brings to the organization,” said Larry Waldman, chairman of LIPA’s board.

LIPA, which hasn’t had a CEO since Kevin Law left in 2010 to head up the Long Island Association, is currently transitioning its contracted utility operations from National Grid to a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group.

Mike Hervey, the former COO who filled in as CEO after Law’s departure, resigned last fall once LIPA restored power to most of its 1.1 million customers—90 percent of which were blacked out by Sandy, some for weeks.

Mike Taunton, LIPA’s Chief Financial Officer, was the acting COO for the past six months.