West, RodVideo 1 | Video 2 | Video 3 |
Rod West was named the president and chief executive officer of Entergy New Orleans, Inc., a $750 million a year electric and gas utility, on Jan. 1, 2007.
West is responsible for ENOI’s financial and operational performance, customer service, regulatory and governmental relations, economic development programs, external and internal communications, charitable contributions, and environmental policy. At the core of his operational responsibilities is management of the company’s electric and gas distribution systems including the purchase and generation of electricity and its transmission and distribution to customers.
West is credited with managing the rebuild of critical aspects of the New Orleans infrastructure after Hurricane Katrina, and for leading Entergy New Orleans out of bankruptcy after the storm. In addition, he is overseeing the industry’s largest natural gas rebuild effort in history – the replacement of approximately 860 miles of underground pipe damaged after Hurricane Katrina.
West’s rise to the Entergy New Orleans CEO position began when he joined the Entergy Corporation as senior regulatory counsel in April 1999 at the Fortune 500 Company’s headquarters. In that department, he led Entergy’s regulatory transition team in obtaining the necessary government approvals for the proposed merger with Florida Power and Light. By April 2001, West was named director of the Entergy New Orleans regulatory affairs department where he managed the 2000-2001 natural gas crisis that drove customer bills beyond levels of affordability. During that crisis, West helped Entergy earn a reputation as one of the most pro-customer utilities in the nation. He also managed the company’s rate case that resulted in increased allowable earnings, and its first profitable position in years – while actually lowering customer bills thanks to power purchase contracts that brought cheaper power into the city.
In December 2003, West became director of the company’s electric distribution operations, managing hundreds of employees responsible for the daily maintenance and operation of the electric grid. The role positioned him to lead that team after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the city.
Before joining Entergy, West was a senior attorney in the New Orleans office of Vial, Hamilton, Koch & Knox, L.L.P. commercial litigation department. He also spent five years with the New Orleans-based firm of Jones, Walker, Waechter, Poitevent, Carrere & Denegre, L.L.P. West is a member of the State Bar of Louisiana.
He is recognized for an intense focus on charitable and community efforts concentrating on education, healthcare, economic development and the rebuilding of south Louisiana and New Orleans. West is an executive committee member of the New Orleans Business Council, a member of the board of directors of First Bank and Trust and the Allstate Sugar Bowl. In 2000, he was appointed for a six-year term by former Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster to the Louisiana State University System Board of Supervisors. He was reappointed by former Gov. Kathleen Blanco and named board chairman through the 2006 and 2007 academic year.
West is a commissioner of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad and the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. He also served as an adjunct professor at Tulane University from 1993 to 2001. And in May 2009, West was named a board member of the University of Notre Dame Board of Trustees.
West received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Notre Dame where he lettered three years as outside linebacker and tight end for Lou Holtz and the Fighting Irish’s 1988 National Championship football team. He received his Juris Doctor from the Tulane University School of Law in 1993 and his Masters of Business Administration degree from Tulane University in 2005. He graduated from Brother Martin High School in New Orleans in 1986.