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Lighting Seattle since 1905 Jorge Carrasco, Superintendent
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Subject:   Major Changes Announced at Seattle City Light
For Immediate Release:   
12/16/2004  8:51:00 AM
For More Information Contact:
24-hour media line (206) 386-4233

Major Changes Announced at Seattle City Light

SEATTLE Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco today announced a major change in the organizational structure of the public utility that supplies electrical power to residential and commercial customers in Seattle.

Carrasco said the new structure will make City Light more efficient and help the utility focus more strategically on the four key elements of its work:

  1. Producing power
  2. Serving customers
  3. Managing money
  4. Supporting the great people at City Light who make it all happen.

"I was brought to the utility to make constructive changes that will benefit the long-term interests of our customers and the utility they own," Carrasco said. "These changes are happening because of a powerful consensus of the Mayor, the City Council, the City Light Advisory Board and our own employees, all of whom have said they want to see positive change and continuous improvement."

The nine executive positions now reporting to the Superintendent will be reduced to four, Carrasco said, giving him the ability to spend more time on what he called the core elements of his job: customer service, strategy, and participating in the debate about the future of electricity in the Pacific Northwest. The new, combined business units in the organization will be led by four executives:

  1. Power Supply Officer, responsible for all functions related to power generation, including power plant operations, power marketing, integrated resources planning and licensing.
  2. Customer Service Officer, responsible for managing activities related to the delivery of our product to our customers, including all power distribution, account and customer services and the System Control Center.
  3. Chief Financial Officer, responsible for our financial affairs, risk management, strategic planning and information technology.
  4. Human Services Officer, responsible for all functions supporting employees, including Safety and the Apprenticeship program.

In addition, Carrasco said he was creating an Office of the Superintendent, which will include Communications and Public Affairs, External Affairs, City Council and Advisory Board coordination, and the daily administrative activities of the office.

"The tangible benefits of these changes will be better customer service, greater accountability, higher performance at all levels of the organization, and greater management attention on what is truly important to customers," he said.

Carrasco said that four individuals have announced their retirements in the last few weeks, and the reorganized structure would replace just one. This results in a net reduction of three top executive positions.

Carrasco said that this is only the first step in change at the utility. He said that this organizational design is focused on the top of the institution and that the new design will cascade down through the second and third levels of City Light over the next three months.

Early next week, Carrasco said that he planned to announce the personnel who will fill the lead positions in the four business units.

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