TVA Chairman Bill Sansom said Friday that board members aren't shocked that CEO Tom Kilgore plans to retire soon.
“We are not totally surprised because Tom has been saying ever since I met him that ‘around the time I am 65, I am out of here,’ and he is 65 next March,” Sansom said at TVA's board of directors meeting Thursday in Knoxville.
Kilgore plans to leave the company in four to six months, he said, according to a transcript of the board meeting.
“Because I am in my fourth quarter I am formally announcing today ... that I want to retire soon,” Kilgore said, according to the transcript. “I gave them four to six months, with a strong preference for four months. I don’t want to walk out until they’ve got my successor selected. But it is my intent to retire soon.”
Board members are already looking for his replacement.
Kilgore is TVA’s first CEO.
He was chief operating officer when then Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist helped push through legislation to change TVA’s leadership structure to more closely resemble that of a corporation in an effort to create more accountability, TVA spokesman Duncan Mansfield said via email.
The legislation changed the TVA board from three full-time members with daily management duties to a nine-member, part-time board with a full-time CEO.
Kilgore thanked his wife, who was in the audience Thursday.
“Somebody asked me if this was my idea or hers,” he said. “I want to assure you that it was my idea, but she is here today to make sure I am really going to do this.
“I told the board this morning that after we got married on a Saturday, on Monday, I reported to Widows Creek [Fossil Plant] to climb up on the precipitators to do tests there. Now, I didn’t work for TVA all these years; we went to other places. I have carried her to eight states, and she has stayed with me for 44 years. So, Myra, thank you very much," he said.
Kilgore also gave the board a report on the company Thursday.
He noted recent challenges, including Browns Ferry’s inspection violations, an unplanned outage at Raccoon Mountain, and “balancing cost savings and capital investment,” according to the president’s report presentation.
Another recent challenge was the Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2 project, which was over budget and off-schedule.
TVA leaders asked for as much as $2 billion more to complete Watts Bar 2 and extended the timetable, according to Nooga.com archives.
The project was originally set to be complete this year, but the new timetable extends through 2015.
No rate increase
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported that board members listened to a couple of hours of complaints, in part about TVA’s tree-cutting policy, before approving the budget, which doesn’t include a rate increase.
The board also approved the issue of long-term bonds for up to $5 million in 2013, if needed, the News Sentinel also reported.
The budget—which is based on $11.2 billion in projected revenue—includes $2.7 billion in capital investments. It also allocates $9.5 billion in operating expenses.
The Tennessean reported that Kilgore got $3.95 million in compensation last year.