Cheniere Energy Inc. has named Jack A. Fusco president and CEO. He succeeds Neal A. Shear, who has held the same positions on an interim basis since December when Charif Souki, Cheniere co-founder, was ousted from the top position (see Daily GPI, Dec. 14, 2015). Fusco joins Cheniere from Calpine Corp., where he most recently served as executive chairman of the board. Fusco's 30-year-plus energy career began at Pacific Gas & Electric Co. upon graduation from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1984. He joined Goldman Sachs 13 years later as a vice president with responsibility for commodity trading and marketing of wholesale electricity, a role that led to the creation of Orion Power Holdings, an independent power producer that Fusco helped found with backing from Goldman Sachs, where he served as president and CEO from 1998 to 2002. In 2004, he was named chairman and CEO of Texas Genco LLC and managed the transition of that business from a subsidiary of a regulated utility to an independent company before its merger with NRG in 2006. Cheniere has granted one-time employee inducement awards of 236,381 restricted shares to Fusco. He has agreed to purchase $10 million worth of Cheniere common shares by Dec. 31, 2016.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has nominated his energy adviser, David Sweet, to serve on the state Public Utility Commission. It remains unclear whether Wolf intends to replace Sweet, who played a marginal role in his administration, compared to those who held similar positions under former governors. Sweet joined the Wolf administration as a senior adviser in April 2015 to focus on energy and economic development issues. He served on the governor's Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force and was heavily involved with development efforts at the Port of Philadelphia, serving as a liaison to the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, as the city has been trying to attract more energy-related business. Prior to joining the Wolf administration, Sweet worked as an attorney focused on administrative and regulatory matters.