Central Maine Power brings back CEO from 1990s to restore public trust

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 12:03 PM EST
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Former Central Maine Power CEO David Flanagan is returning to the company he led in the 1990s to help turn it around.

Flanagan will serve as executive chairman of the Board of Directors, the company announced Wednesday.

He will focus on improving customer service for Maine customers.

"While the company faces challenging times, I will work with the dedicated employees of CMP to return to providing high quality, transparent, and reliable service for our customers; and to earn back the trust of Maine people," Flanagan said in a statement.

Flanagan said officials from CMP's parent company, Avangrid, approached him about the job. He said he will have an impactful role.

“I told them I wasn’t just going to be another pretty face," Flanagan said.

CMP has faced harsh criticism over the past couple of years over its rollout of a new billing system.

Thousands of customers reported bills skyrocketing after the new system was implemented at the end of 2017.

An investigation by the Maine Public Utilities Commission found that while there was no systemic problems with CMP's billing system, there were long-term customer service failures.

PUC Commissioners fined CMP $10 million as a result of the investigation.

Commissioners also ordered CMP to undergo a management audit for the next 18 months, which means the agency will monitor the company.

The PUC has launched a second investigation into whether CMP sent improper disconnection notices sent to customers. By law, CMP is not allowed to disconnect customers between Nov. 15 and April 15 for nonpayment without PUC approval.

Flanagan served as CMP CEO from from 1994 to 2000. The company said Flanagan helped turn the CMP around during that tenure by increasing public favorability from 40% to more than 90%.

Flanagan also led the efforts to restore power after the Ice Storm of 1998.