The Tennessee Valley Authority Monday promoted one of its top executives, Mike Skaggs, to the newly created position of chief operating officer and hired the head of the Susquehanna nuclear plant in Pennsylvania, Timothy Rausch, to serve as TVA's chief nuclear officer.
The executive reshuffling follows the decisions to retire by the head of TVA generation, Joe Grimes, on Nov. 1, and the planned retirement next spring of TVA's current chief nuclear officer, Mike Balduzzi.
In the new role he assumed Monday, Skaggs will be responsible for power operations, nuclear, transmission and power supply and generation construction, projects and services. Skaggs is a 35-year veteran in the utility industry who previously led the completion of TVA's Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and most recently served as executive vice president of operations for the federal utility.
"Mike has extensive industry experience and is a key member of TVA's executive team," TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in an announcement of the appointment. "He is a respected leader known for his focus on safety, people and performance. This, combined with his continuous improvement mindset and understanding of TVA's stakeholders, makes him an excellent choice for COO as our business and industry evolve."
One of those reporting to Skaggs will be the new chief nuclear officer, who oversees operations of all seven TVA reactors. Rausch, who will begin his role as the head of TVA's nuclear fleet of plants on Oct. 15, was formerly senior vice president and chief nuclear officer for Talen Energy's Susquehanna nuclear plant.
Rausch brings 30 years of commercial nuclear experience to the chief nuclear officer position. At Susquehanna he led an effort to reduce costs by over 25 percent while producing best-ever safety, reliability and generation results in 2017.
Previously, Rausch served as site vice president of Exelon Nuclear Corporation's Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station and plant general manager at First Energy's Perry Nuclear Plant, where he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility.
Rausch was a certified senior reactor operator, received a Masters in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.
"Tim's background, experience and industry successes make him the right choice to lead the TVA nuclear fleet at this time," Skaggs said Monday in an announcement of the hiring.