Santee Cooper has named two new executives. Mark Bonsall as CEO and Charles Duckworth as Deputy CEO. These are a new names in the Carolinas.
Until his 2018 retirement, Bonsall was the chief executive of the Salt River Project [SRP], a public power utility that generates, transmits and distributes power. It has about a million customers over a 2,900-square-mile service area in Arizona. SRP also supplies water in a 375-square-mile service area. It is based in Tempe, near Phoenix.
Duckworth was SRP’s Chief Strategy, Resource Planning and Acquisitions Executive before he left SRP.
Santee Cooper is a public power utility, as is SRP.
Santee Cooper’s future has been debated in the South Carolina legislature over the past year, with a sale or reform being hot topics. The State reported, “… new CEO Mark Bonsall described the legislative push to sell Santee Cooper as a ‘suboptimal and uninformed solution,’ vowing to find ways to reform the agency from within.”
The legislative and executive branches of South Carolina’s government have studied and debated Santee Cooper issues since the utility pulled out of the failed nuclear construction project in 2017. The Governor and legislators are not uninformed.
Bonsall’s background is in the power industry. He became the CEO and General Manager of SRP in 2011 and left in 2018. He was Treasurer and Chief Financial Executive at the utility. He started at SRP in 1977. He is originally from Phoenix, and earned an engineering degree from Arizona State University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Duckworth joined SRP 1977 and left in 2018. He also held positions in energy management and information, water and marketing. Duckworth has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northern Arizona University and an MBA from Arizona State University.
Bonsall is reported to receive $1.1 million a year at Santee Cooper, another $250,000 through possible bonuses, up to $40,000 to move to South Carolina and a monthly vehicle allowance. Duckworth is reported to receive $560,000 and up to $165,000 more in performance bonuses. (Source)
“Bonsall said he would make no promises about how many employees could be laid off as he works to make the agency more efficient,” said a Charlotte Observer report.