Entergy Texas has announced the coming retirement of its current chief executive and the appointment of the next leader of the Texas branch of the utility.
After 37 years with Entergy, President and CEO Sallie Rainer will retire on Nov. 14, 2021, ending a nine-year tenure as the top executive in Texas.
Since 2012, she has been responsible for leading the companies operations in 27 counties across much of eastern Texas, guiding its customer service, resource planning, economic development, charitable contributions, regulatory and governmental affairs and financial performance.
“From her charitable and community efforts to leading the modernization of our generation fleet with the construction of the Montgomery County Power Station, Sallie was dedicated to creating outcomes that benefited Southeast Texas,” Rod West, group president of utility operations for Entergy, said in a statement. “Her friendship and commitment to helping our key stakeholders will be sorely missed, and we thank her for her invaluable contributions to the Entergy family.”
After her term, Entergy Texas will now boast more than $2 billion in new generation, transmission and distribution assets.
She also oversaw the completion of the Montgomery County Power Station in 2018, the company’s first new power plant in Texas for over 40 years.
Entergy Texas has been recognized three times by JD Power & Associates as the top midsized utility brand across the Southeast, and customer electricty rates have been among the lowest in the nation under Rainer’s tenure, according to the company.
Rainer joined Entergy in 1984 in the generation planning department working in various long-term planning roles. In 1997, she joined the energy management organization in The Woodlands, and in 2005, she was named director of regulatory affairs and energy settlements.
Prior to joining Entergy Texas as president, she served as vice president, federal policy where she led the company’s effort to join the Midcontinent Independent System Operator.
Rainer said that she is looking forward to the future Entergy Texas will have with the next generation of leadership and the men and women that have worked alongside her during her time with the company.
“It’s been a privilege and the highlight of my career to serve southeast Texas in this role,” said Rainer said in a statement.
Rainer’s role will be filled by Eliecer “Eli” Viamontes, the current vice president of utility distribution operations and an 18-year industry veteran.
According to Entergy, Viamontes has spent most of his career working toward modernization efforts for electrical systems and improving reliability for customers and emergency response.
He previously served as an incident commander overseeing a force of 3,000 lineworkers for NextEra Energy’s subsidiary, Florida Power & Light, during Hurricane Irma.
During Viamontes’ nearly 17 years at FPL, his experience included reliability engineering, operations and vegetation management, customer and employee experience, enterprise strategic initiatives, and key and governmental accounts.
Prior to joining Entergy, he served as NextEra Energy’s senior director of labor relations and corporate safety.
“I’ve become very familiar with our Texas territory and the men and women of Entergy who work in the Lone Star State,” Viamontes said in a statement. “I look forward to partnering with them and all of our stakeholders to build on the progress started by Sallie to improve the lives of our Texas customers through safety, reliability, philanthropic and economic development programs.”
Viamontes joined Entergy at the beginning of 2020 and led a team of 2,300 employees in Entergy’s five utility companies, including during storm restoration efforts through last year’s record-setting hurricane season.
Viamontes has a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering and a Master’s Degree of business administration from Florida International University. He also attended the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Viamontes and his family will reside in The Woodlands.
A replacement for Viamontes’ current position will be named at a future date, according to the company.