United Water has appointed Michael J. Chesser as chairman and chief executive officer effective January 2, 2002. Chesser succeeds Jean Michel Brault, who will continue with United Water's parent company, Ondeo, in the new year.
"Mike has a strong background in both the regulated and non-regulated business environments," said Brault. "Throughout his career, he has demonstrated his ability to weave a solid commitment to the community into the achievement of operational excellence and that will enhance our ability to deliver outstanding customer service and shareholder value."
United Water, founded in 1869, provides water and wastewater services to more than 7.5 million people in the United States. In addition to owning and operating utilities, United Water operates municipal systems through public-private partnerships and contract agreements. Five of the nation's largest water and wastewater contracts are operated by United Water.
Prior to joining United Water, Chesser will step down as CEO and president of GPU Energy. GPU recently completed its merger with First Energy Corp. Chesser was chairman, CEO and president of Itron, a provider of automatic meter reading solutions to the utility industry, before joining GPU Energy in early 2000. In addition, Chesser was president and chief operating officer at Atlantic Energy (now Connectiv) and vice president of marketing and gas operation for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.
In addition to his executive assignments, Chesser currently serves on the Board of Directors of Itron, E-lectTrade.com, the Child Welfare League of America, the Great Bay Casino Corporation, New Jersey Utilities Association, Energy Association of Pennsylvania and Manufacturers Association of Berks County. He is also on the Board of Directors for the New Jersey Network Foundation.
Chesser holds an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA in finance from Loyola College in Maryland. He also attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard.
United Water is a wholly owned subsidiary of Paris-based Ondeo Services water and wastewater management services provider serving more than 115 million people in 130 different countries. Ondeo, which also provides a full range of water-related services to more than 60,000 industrial clients, is part of the Suez group.