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Williams appoints former Enterprise chief, M&A lawyer to board

After a year that included a failed merger attempt with Energy Transfer Equity LP and a withdrawn acquisition bid from Enterprise Products Partners LP, Williams Cos. Inc. appointed an M&A lawyer and Enterprise's former chief to its board.

Charles "Casey" Cogut, senior counsel at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP who specializes in M&A, and Michael Creel, former CEO and director of the general partner of Enterprise, are on the board effective immediately and will stand for election at Williams' annual shareholder meeting in May 2017, according to a Dec. 13 news release.

"Casey is an incredibly talented adviser to boards of directors around the world, and his experience will be invaluable to Williams as we move forward," Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer, said in the release. "Mike has been a leader in the natural gas industry as the former CEO of Enterprise Products for many years, and Williams will benefit from his long track-record of financial discipline and shareholder value creation."

The appointments conclude what Williams called a "board refreshment" that started after six directors led by activist investor Keith Meister stepped down in the wake of Williams' failed merger with Energy Transfer Equity. The Williams board has 11 directors, seven of whom have been appointed in 2016.