The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority announced Thursday that, following a competitive selection process, the Board of Directors has appointed Lisa J. Donahue as chief restructuring officer.
The appointment of a CRO by September 8, 2014 was the first milestone outlined in PREPA’s Aug. 14, 2014 agreements with its creditors.
Donahue brings more than 23 years of both restructuring and operational turnaround and transformation experience to the position. She will focus on helping the Authority achieve fiscal stability, and will join the leadership team in reviewing all of PREPA’s business processes to address its current challenges and ensure its continued ability to serve the people of Puerto Rico.
“Lisa has a clear track record of helping companies in our industry and financial situation reach their goals by the deadlines required,” said Harry Rodríguez, president of PREPA’s Board of Directors.
“She immediately convinced us that she would be able to work successfully with the existing PREPA team. We are confident that we all will benefit from her skills and experience and are excited to have her join PREPA in advance of the deadline established for the CRO appointment,” he said.
Donahue brings extensive experience in business plan development, operational alignment, business transformation, cash management and cost reduction, negotiation, situational analysis, and debt restructuring for domestic and international organizations.
She currently is the global leader of the Turnaround and Restructuring Services group at global business advisory firm AlixPartners. She previously has served as executive vice president and chief financial officer at Calpine Corp., an independent power producer operating in Texas and California; chief financial officer at Atlantic Power Corp., a publicly traded power and infrastructure company; and chief restructuring officer of SemGroup, L.P., a mid-stream oil & gas and commodity trading company. She has a degree in finance with a minor in accounting from Florida State University.
In a statement issued following the announcement, Gov. García-Padilla said the appointment is an “additional step in our effort to turn the public corporation into a more efficient operation that offers reliable service in compliance with environmental regulations.”
Meanwhile, Juan Alicea-Flores, executive director for PREPA, added, “There is much work to be done to transform PREPA into a self-sustaining business with the infrastructure and financial resources needed to meet the island’s needs for efficient and affordable power.”
“I look forward to working with Lisa and the financial team to meet these challenges and restore PREPA to its former position of strength and stability. This process will allow us to develop and follow a long-term plan to achieve stability in our operations that transcends time,” he said.
“I have had extensive discussions with Juan Alicea and the PREPA management team during the interview process and have been very impressed by the knowledge and dedication of everyone I have met,” she said.
“I will be relying heavily on their insights as I get to know PREPA’s operations, and I believe that Juan and I will be good allies in restoring PREPA as a strong and self-sustaining utility that is able to meet its customers’ needs, improve its infrastructure and manage its debts,” said Donahue.