POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — At what it calls the “right time” for a leadership change, the Central Hudson Board of Directors has named Christopher M. Capone its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Capone will take over for Charles Freni.

“The Central Hudson Board of Directors believes the time is right for a change of leadership,” said Margarita Dilley, chair of the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Board of Directors. “Chris has a demonstrated history of successfully navigating challenges and leading teams to positive outcomes. We are confident in his ability to move the organization forward and to communicate those results to all stakeholders clearly and consistently.”

Capone’s appointment is effective immediately. Freni will stay with Central Hudson to assist with the transition before retiring, the company said in a press release.

“A key priority will be addressing the frustrations some customers have felt resulting from the implementation of the new customer billing system. We have hired a significant number of additional personnel including contact center employees and other professionals to work on these issues around the clock,” said Capone. “More must be done and my commitment to you is I will be transparent about the progress we are making. There are more than 1,100 dedicated and talented professionals at our company who work tirelessly to deliver safe and reliable energy to their neighbors in communities throughout the mid-Hudson Valley. As the new CEO, I will work to support them so they in turn can support our customers.”

Capone started work with Central Hudson in 2003. He used to provide executive oversight of accounting, treasury, risk management, internal auditing, enterprise support services, and energy resources for the utility. Capone holds a bachelor’s degree with honors from Marist College and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University.