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Consolidated Edison Says CEO Kevin Burke Will Retire

Consolidated Edison Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burke, who has held the roles since 2005, will retire by end of the year.

Burke, 62, will be replaced by John McAvoy, 53, who heads Con Edison’s Orange and Rockland utilities unit, the New York-based company said in a statement after the market’s close. McAvoy has held several management positions at the company since joining in 1980.

Burke will remain non-executive chairman of the board for a “transition period,” the company said.

Burke oversaw the response to Hurricane Sandy, which knocked out power last year to 1.4 million Con Edison customers, four times more than the utility’s previous worst storm. Flooding of the utility’s underground network caused lower Manhattan to lose power for days.

In August, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said regulators had ordered the state’s utilities to improve their storm response plans after an investigation into power restoration efforts following a series of hurricanes and tropical storms. In April, Cuomo had Burke and three other executives return 2012 bonuses while officials investigated the responses to Hurricane Sandy.

Con Edison’s Orange and Rockland unit is one of two regulated utility units owned by the company. The other is Consolidated Edison Company of New York, which serves New York City and Westchester County.

The company’s stock was downgraded by Jefferies Inc. to hold from buy earlier this month on concerns that the utility may not be able to reach a settlement with regulators on a proposed rate increase.

Con Edison’s shares rose .5 percent to $56.61 in after-hours trading.

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