Puerto Rico power-company CEO resigns as thousands lack electricity
- Aug 4, 2020 9:56 am GMTAug 4, 2020 3:41 pm GMT
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In the aftermath of yet another tropical storm that has further weakened the island’s electricity infrastructure, the CEO of Puerto Rico’s state-owned power company is going to step down.
José Ortiz, who leads the Electric Power Authority, will leave his position on Wednesday as thousands remain without power due to Tropical Storm Isaias. Ortiz has been the target of widespread outrage this year, as exasperated customers note that ongoing outages are unacceptable during a blisteringly hot summer in the middle of a pandemic. Many blame both a lack of resources and a failure of leadership for the difficult situation.
“We don’t have employees or suitable equipment,” Walberto Rolón, a secretary for a power workers’ union, told The Associated Press. “This is something that can be fixed.”
Ortiz technically had a more successful run than his immediate predecessor, as he was the company’s third CEO in two weeks when he was appointed in July 2018. In a statement, Ortiz claimed that he had only committed to the job for two years and that this was the time to move on.
“My resignation comes at an appropriate moment in the transformation of PREPA into the modern electric utility all Puerto Ricans deserve,” he said.
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