Austin Beutner Appointed LADWP Interim General Manager by Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners

Austin Beutner Appointed LADWP Interim General Manager
by Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners

LOS ANGELES — First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy Austin Beutner was appointed Interim General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners today.  Mr. Beutner had been nominated for the position by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on April 19, 2010.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Austin Beutner for the past few months in his capacity as First Deputy Mayor, a role to which he has brought a new vigor and great foresight,” said Lee Kanon Alpert, President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.  “He brings to us a wealth of experience and knowledge in finance and business that we need here at the Department.  I am pleased to welcome him aboard.”

Mr. Beutner will be charged with performing a financial and operational review of the nation’s largest municipal utility, while developing and implementing customer-friendly reforms for the residential and commercial/industrial sectors and leading the search for his successor, a permanent general manager.  He will oversee LADWP’s many green efforts to reduce the effects of climate change including the integration of renewable energy sources into the power supply and preparing the Department and the City for the commercial launch of electric vehicles, scheduled for later this year.  Mr. Beutner will also be responsible for the execution of the Mayor’s Water Supply Action Plan, a multi-pronged approach to reducing the City’s reliance on imported water, and leading the Department’s aggressive initiative to revitalize water and power infrastructure, among a host of other high-level action items.

He will continue to serve as First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive for Economic and Business Policy, a post to which he was appointed on January 11, 2010.  During this tenure, Mr. Beutner has been credited with making progress in recrafting the City’s approach to economic development, business attraction and retention, and job creation for Angelenos.

Although well known as an investment banker, with his appointment as First Deputy Mayor, Mr. Beutner marks a return to the public sector.  After a successful run on Wall Street during which he was named the youngest partner ever at the investment and advisory firm Blackstone, Mr. Beutner joined the U.S. State Department, where he worked in Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  During this time, he led a team to help the nation transition to a market economy through the development of mortgage and business lending vehicles, the creation of a fund to invest in small to medium-sized businesses, and job creation.  Thereafter, in 1996, with former U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, Mr. Beutner founded the investment bank Evercore Partners, which he helped build into a leading financial services firm.

Mr. Beutner’s interim appointment begins on April 20, 2010, and will last up to six months.  The Board set Mr. Beutner’s salary at a rate of $1 for the duration of his appointment.