Nov. 26--Tom Bundros was an easy choice as the next CEO of Dalton Utilities, utility board chairman Tom Pendley.
The board unanimously approved the promotion of Bundros from Dalton Utilities' chief operating officer to the company's top position on Wednesday at a special called meeting of the board.
Bundros was out of town for the holidays and was unavailable for comment.
But Pendley said the elevation of Bundros to the position currently occupied by Don Cope was an easy decision for the board.
"(Bundros) has a lot of knowledge of the business overall and specifically with Dalton Utilities," Pendley said. "He has worked in the past with Southern Co. and his experience in the industry brings a lot to the Dalton Utilities family. He has a great understanding of the challenges of our industry and also of our customers and the people we serve."
Cope will officially retire at the end of this year. Bundros is a veteran at Dalton Utilities, having served as chief operating officer since November 2012 and as chief financial officer from January 1997 to July 2009. In-between, he served as chief financial officer of Colonial Pipeline Co. He originally came to Dalton Utilities after spending 13 years in various capacities at the Southern Co., the parent company of Georgia Power.
Bundros has a bachelor of science degree in economics and business administration as well as a master of business administration in finance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After a nationwide search for the next CEO by a Charlotte, N.C.-based firm, the board named Bundros the sole finalist earlier this month.
Pendley said they received "dozens" of applications. After interviewing six candidates, the board was set to announce two finalists, but Pendley said the other finalist withdrew.
Pendley said now that a new CEO has been installed by the board, the company can solidify its future. He said the biggest challenges ahead are regulatory controls by the federal government and controlling rates.
"Regulatory guidelines are the elephant in the room in our industry," Pendley said. "But for our customers, they will hopefully still see the same level of customer services and the continued growth in this community."
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