Market Information System Grid and Market Conditions

News Release

December 09, 2008

ERCOT Board Elects New Chairman


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Board of Directors today elected former telecommunications executive Jan Newton as board chairman, assuming the role filled by Mark Armentrout for the last three years. 

This marks the board’s first time to rotate chairmanship duties since 2005 when Armentrout was elected in accordance with a state law mandating the chairman be one of the five independent members – unaffiliated with ERCOT market participants – on the 16-member "hybrid" board. 

Newton joined the ERCOT board in September 2006 after a 30-year career with SBC (now AT&T). She held positions in finance, sales, marketing and regulatory affairs. At her retirement, she was president of SBC Texas, having served in that position since 2002.  

"Jan Newton has already made major contributions as a board member," Armentrout said.  "Her experience in regulatory, legislative, governmental, external affairs, and community and industry relations has been a great asset to the board.  I’m sure, with her executive experience and leadership skills, that Jan will successfully guide ERCOT through the challenges ahead," said Armentrout, who will continue to serve on the board.   

Newton expressed the board’s gratitude to Armentrout for his past guidance and promised her intentions to continue building on his successes. 

"Mark has done a tremendous job guiding the board through some complex and difficult issues these last several years," Newton said.  "I hope to continue his excellent record and continue building on ERCOT’s core strengths – maintaining reliability for the electric consumers in Texas, effectively managing the competitive electric markets in Texas, and insuring ERCOT remains an expert planning source for new and expanded energy resources in the state." 

Armentrout, who was elected to the board in June 2003, is an independent management consultant with 30 years experience in information technology. From 2000 through 2006, he was an information technology executive vice president for MBNA, the world’s largest independent credit card company, which is now part of Bank of America.  

Michehl Gent was approved to continue in his role as vice-chairman.  Gent, who joined the board in 2006, was former president and CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Council.  Others on the board include three consumer representatives, one representative from each of ERCOT's six electric market segments, the ERCOT CEO, and the chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (non-voting, ex-officio). 


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers -- representing about 90 percent of the state’s electric load. As the independent system operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and 710+ generation units. It also performs financial settlement for the competitive wholesale bulk-power market and administers retail switching for nearly 8 million premises in competitive choice areas.

ERCOT is a membership-based 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation, governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. Its members include consumers, cooperatives, generators, power marketers, retail electric providers, investor-owned electric utilities, transmission and distribution providers and municipally owned electric utilities.