Just one week after announcing that he will step down as FERC chairman at the end of the month, Entergy Corp. is reporting that it has hired Curt Hebert Jr. to become executive vice president of external affairs, effective Sept. 1.

In that job, the soon-to-be former Commission chairman will be responsible for the company’s system and federal governmental affairs, system regulatory affairs, communications and corporate contribution functions, according to Entergy. He will succeed Horace Webb, who will become president and chief executive of the Entergy Charitable Foundation.

Entergy, headquartered in New Orleans, LA, is ranked among the top utility companies in the United States, with assets of $25.5 billion and revenues of $10 billion in 2000. It owns, manages and invests in 30,000 MW of power generation capacity in the U.S. and worldwide. Entergy serves as the utility for 2.6 million customers in parts of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Hebert, who has been on the Commission since 1997, was appointed chairman just days after President Bush assumed office last January. But he was immediately dogged by rumors that the president intended to replace him later with former Texas regulator Pat Wood III, who recently joined FERC as commissioner.

Any hope that Hebert had of staying on as FERC chairman seemed to have vanished when his long-time friend, Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS), lost his position as Senate Majority Leader in early June. Lott had been Hebert’s biggest supporter on Capitol Hill and at the White House.

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