Westinghouse leadership change announced

17 May 2019

José Emeterio Gutiérrez will step down as president and CEO of Westinghouse on 31 July, the company has announced. Patrick Fragman, currently group senior vice president at ABB Limited, will assume the roles from 19 August.

Gutiérrez at World Nuclear Association's 2018 Annual Symposium (Image: World Nuclear Association)

An executive committee comprising members of Westinghouse's senior leadership team will manage the day-to-day affairs of the company in the interim.

Gutiérrez joined Westinghouse in 2008 as technical director of Nuclear Services and regional vice president for Spain. He was appointed interim president and CEO in 2016 and became president and CEO in 2017. At that time eight Westinghouse AP1000s were under construction - four in China and four in the USA. However, Westinghouse filed for US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March 2017, after growing cost overruns at the two US nuclear plant projects at VC Summer in South Carolina and Vogtle in Georgia.

Gutiérrez will continue to have a strategic role with Westinghouse as a member of a Global Advisory Board, an entity being established to provide guidance on Westinghouse's international strategy to drive global growth, the company said.

Westinghouse emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2018 following the acquisition of the company from parent Toshiba by Brookfield for about USD4.6 billion. Only the US projects were affected by the Chapter 11 process. The owners of the Summer project - Scana subsidiary South Carolina Electric & Gas Company and Santee Cooper - subsequently decided to abandon the construction of the two units. Work has continued at Vogtle - majority owned by Georgia Power - and that project is now about 77% complete.

All four of the Chinese AP1000 projects at Haiyang and Sanmen are now in commercial operation.

"Under [Gutiérrez's] leadership, Westinghouse successfully emerged from Chapter 11 as a leaner, stronger organisation focused on its core business," the company said.

Patrick Fragman will bring almost 30 years of global power and energy services experience to the role of president and CEO, it added. Before joining ABB, Fragman spent 15 years at Alstom in senior roles based in the Canada, China, France and the USA, including leading its nuclear business. Earlier in his career, Fragman worked in various energy-focused roles within the French government, Westinghouse said.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News