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NYISO's top executive leaves, replaced by general counsel

New York's power grid operator announced the abrupt departure of Brad Jones as its president and CEO. The New York ISO board of directors named General Counsel Robert Fernandez as Jones' interim successor.

In an Oct. 17 news release, NYISO announced the immediate replacement of Jones, who served as head of the grid operator for three years. Prior to taking over at NYISO in October 2015, Jones was COO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which serves as the power grid operator for most of Texas. Neither Jones nor NYISO immediately responded to requests for comment Oct. 17.

NYISO Board Chairperson Ave Bie said Fernandez will draw on his 32-year career, including nearly 20 years at the grid operator, to guide NYISO during the transition. "His extensive knowledge and leadership capabilities will be invaluable," Bie said in the news release.

Fernandez was appointed NYISO's general counsel and chief compliance officer in 2000. In those roles, he advised the NYISO board on all significant business decisions, including the development of new energy infrastructure, regional transmission planning and wholesale competitive market designs. Fernandez was also involved in all aspects of corporate governance, including market participant committee decision-making, appeals to the board and enterprise risk management.

Before joining NYISO, Fernandez served as vice president and chief regulatory counsel for independent power producer Sithe Energies Inc. and as senior attorney for Long Island Lighting Co., a predecessor to the Long Island Power Authority.