Williams resigns from Regulatory Authority
The chief executive of the Regulatory Authority has tendered his resignation to “move to the next phase of his career”.
News that Denton Williams will be departing from the role comes as the telecommunications and electricity watchdog considers taking legal action against electricity utility Belco over an ongoing dispute concerning soot emissions.
Belco has denied the RA’s claims that it misled the public over the cause of the emissions.
Mr Williams, who is said to have tendered his resignation several weeks ago, is the former senior vice-president of Ascendant and chief operating officer at Belco and was appointed the RA’s CEO on January 7, 2019.
He is the fourth to hold the substantive role of CEO since the RA was established in 2011.
He said: “I have enjoyed my time at the RA. The work has been intense and at times challenging. I am proud of RA team and of our accomplishments over the years. They are committed professionals with an outstanding work ethic. As an organisation, I am confident that the RA will continue to build on its many successes.“
A spokeswoman for the RA said that Mr Williams’ departure is unrelated to the Belco dispute, adding: “As a regulator, disputes with regulated entities are not unusual.”
Mr Williams’s official departure date is November 30. The spokeswoman said senior managers could assume the role of interim CEO if needed until a permanent CEO is hired.
The spokeswoman added: “The productivity at the RA is high. As you’ll note from the RA’s annual Work Plans, the RA’s workload has increased.
“The team at the RA are skilled professionals who adapt easily to change. We have every confidence that the quantity and quality of work will not be impacted by the departure of Mr Williams.
“As the first Bermudian chief executive of the RA, Mr Williams served the organisation for over three and a half years.
“Under his tenure, the RA developed and established Bermuda’s first Integrated Resource Plan, the Principles of Consumer Protection, the framework for issuing new entrants to the electronic communications sector via Integrated Communication Licences, the regulation of the submarine cable sector and is positioned to manage future sectors as necessary, such as fuel.
“The RA team wishes him well and continued success.”
A spokesman for the Ministry of Home Affairs added: “While this is a matter for the RA's Board of Commissioners to address, it is disappointing news.
“As CEO of the RA, Denton Williams accomplished much during his tenure, progressing and transforming the RA into a best-in-class organisation. As such, Mr Williams' departure will be a loss to the minister and ministry. However, we will continue seeking future opportunities to work with him.
“Lastly, the ministry plays no role in recruiting or selecting the new CEO as this falls under the RA's Board of Commissioners. We wait to hear who his successor will be and trust that they will continue his excellent example.”
Mr Williams took over from Aaron Smith who stepped in as interim chief executive officer prior to his appointment.
The RA was established in 2011 by an Act of Parliament. It had three different CEO’s prior to Mr Smith – each of them leaving before completing two years on the job.
Philip Micallef was appointed in October 2012 but stepped down in September 2014, citing personal reasons.
A new chief executive, Robert Watson, took the post in January 2015 but left nine months later, also for personal reasons, with legal adviser Kyle Masters taking the helm as interim CEO.
Matthew Copeland was appointed in March 2016 but stepped down after two years.
The RA said on Mr Williams’ appointment: “As a seasoned professional, Mr Williams brings 29 years of industry experience in electrical engineering and information technology, of which eight were at the senior executive level.
“His related accomplishments include his active participation in the consultation processes that resulted in the publication of the island’s energy green and white papers – these publications formed the basis for electricity regulatory reform in Bermuda and the creation of the RA.
“Mr Williams also possesses an in-depth knowledge of both the carbon and non-carbon energy markets.