Central Hudson CEO is out

Christopher Capone

POUGHKEEPSIE – A week after Congressman Pat Ryan (D, NY-18) called for Central Hudson Gas and Electric President Charles Freni to resign following the utility’s debacle over a new billing system, he is resigning.

The announcement came from the company on Monday, saying the board of directors has decided to appoint Christopher Capone as the new president and CEO.

The company said Freni will stay on to assist with the transition before retiring.

Ryan was among a number of local officials who have been demanding action over the billing scandal that saw some monthly electric bills source into the thousands of dollars.

A statement from board of directors Chairwoman Margarita Dilley said the board “believes the time is right for a change in leadership.”

She said the board is “confident in (Capone’s) ability to move the organization forward and to communicate those results to all stakeholders clearly and consistently.”

Capone said in a statement that “A key priority will be addressing the frustrations some customers have felt resulting from the implementation of the new customer billing system.”

The new president said they have “hired a significant number of additional personnel including contact center employees and other professionals to work on these issues around the clock.”

He said more must be done and he is committed to be transparent about the progress being made.

“There are more than 1,100 dedicated and talented professionals at our company who work tirelessly to deliver safe and reliable energy to their neighbors in communities throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley. As the new CEO, I will work to support them so they in turn can support our customers,” Capone said.

Capone began working for Central Hudson in 2003 and has responsibilities including oversight of accounting, treasury, risk management, internal auditing, enterprise support services and energy resources.