Gino DiCaro

Cal-ISO Chief Steps Down

By Gino DiCaro, VP, Communications

Capitol Update, June 6, 2004 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Terry Winter, who oversaw the state's electrical grid during the 2000-2001 energy crisis, resigned on June 1 as chief executive officer of the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO). One of his principal deputies, Cal-ISO Vice President Elena Schmid, also resigned.

No reason was given for their departure, and ISO governing board members were quick to emphasize that they were not pushed out. "The decision to leave was theirs," said Michael Kahn, chairman of the ISO Board of Governors during a telephone news conference after the announcement.

Neither Winter nor Schmid have spoken to the media or offered a reason for their decisions to resign. Cal-ISO officials will conduct a nationwide search for their replacements.

Winter was no stranger to controversy. In December 2001 he incurred the wrath of then-Governor Davis and others when he unilaterally petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to lift a wholesale price cap on electricity – without the Governor's sign-off. More recently, he was the target of pointed criticism by Senator Joseph Dunn (D-Santa Ana), who has repeatedly called for his resignation.

However, even his detractors have grudging respect for his ability to run the state's transmission grid and manage all the moving parts that go with the job. Winter's shoes will indeed be hard to fill.
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