WHITE PLAINS — After 10 years as the New York Power Authority’s president and chief executive officer, Gil C. Quiniones has resigned to take another position, according to the agency Thursday.
Mr. Quiniones will depart for a position as CEO at Commonwealth Edison Company — the largest electric utility in Illinois, and the sole electric provider in Chicago and much of Northern Illinois.
He will remain at NYPA until Nov. 5, according to a release from the department Thursday morning.
“After considerable thought, I have decided that taking on this new challenge is the right move for me and my family,” Mr. Quiniones said in a prepared statement. “While I look forward to this opportunity with excitement and anticipation, these feelings are mixed with the sadness of knowing I will miss amazing colleagues and the great sense of pride I have in all that we have accomplished together.”
Mr. Quiniones was appointed as the head of NYPA in 2011 under former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, taking over for former NYPA President and CEO Richard M. Kessel.
Mr. Quiniones’ departure is the latest of several Cuomo appointees and allies leaving state agencies, but representatives with Gov. Kathleen C. Hochul’s office confirmed Thursday he was not removed, and was not intended to be removed from his position due to his ties to the former administration.
“Gil got his job on his own and we’re sad to see him go,” Colin Brennan, Gov. Hochul’s senior deputy communications director said Thursday. “He was going to be kept if he didn’t get another position. Gil got an offer he didn’t want to turn down — this is a simple case of a guy who got a new job.”
NYPA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Justin E. Driscoll will take over as interim president and chief officer, working with Mr. Quiniones until his departure.
Gov. Hochul and department board members will search for a permanent replacement over the next few months, Mr. Brennan said.
“It won’t change our priorities,” he added of the state’s green energy goals. “We’re going to keep plowing ahead.”
Mr. Quiniones expressed excitement about his new position in his resignation letter sent to Gov. Hochul on Tuesday.
“Under most circumstances, I would look forward to continuing my duties at NYPA as part of your administration,” he wrote. “However, I have been offered an exciting opportunity to become the Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), the large investor-owned utility that serves the city of Chicago and has more than 4 million customers in Northern Illinois. ComEd is a subsidiary of Exelon, a Fortune 100 company with operations in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. After careful consideration, I have concluded that accepting the ComEd position will best serve my family and professional interests at this point in my career.”
Gov. Hochul, who took office Aug. 24, has pushed out many top government officials from the previous administration in her first 50 days in office, including Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, state Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro, state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities Commissioner RoAnn Destito and several others.
She praised Mr. Quiniones’ work over the last decade Thursday in a prepared statement.
“Under Gil’s leadership, NYPA has advanced the state’s transition to a clean energy economy and helped deliver a stronger and more sustainable future for New Yorkers,” Gov. Hochul said. “It is with sadness that I accept his resignation, but I understand his desire to pursue an opportunity in the private sector and thank him for his decade of service to New Yorkers. He leaves the Power Authority and the state in a strong position to create a clean energy infrastructure that is reliable, resilient, and cost-effective for decades to come, and New Yorkers, including myself, are grateful for his contributions to our state.”
After 10 years in the post, Mr. Quiniones is the longest-serving president and CEO in NYPA’s history. He served with NYPA for 14 years overall, previously as executive vice president, energy marketing and corporate affairs and as chief operating officer.
“We are very grateful to Gil for his visionary leadership and unwavering stewardship of NYPA, and more recently, Canals,” NYPA Board of Trustees Chair John R. Koelmel said in a statement. “He leaves NYPA a much stronger, more resilient organization. We will certainly miss his leadership and friendship. NYPA and Canals are, in fact, in an exciting position. The trustees and I have the utmost faith and confidence in Justin and his leadership. He has been an influential member of NYPA’s executive team and an important adviser to all of us. His wisdom and experience have been essential in developing NYPA’s VISION2030 strategy. With Justin as the interim president and CEO, NYPA will continue to lead our state toward a carbon-free, economically vibrant future.”