Austin Energy head Jackie Sargent retires effective immediately

Austin Energy General Manager Jackie Sargent has announced her retirement effective immediately.

After nearly 40 years of service to the electric utility industry, Sargent submitted her resignation Friday, March 31. 

"It came as a little bit of a shock," said city council member Mackenzie Kelly.

The retirement comes following public outcry over how things were handled after the February ice storm that left thousands of customers without power

Many criticized Sargent for how she handled the prolonged outages, especially the messaging that customers would have power back on in 48 hours when in fact it took longer. For some, it took a week or longer.

"She's gone through quite a bit in her tenure. Some good, some bad. But we are thankful for the time that she spent here at the city investing her time and service to the community," said Kelly.

Sargent has served as the first female general manager of Austin Energy since 2016 and has nearly 40 years of service to the electric utility industry. Before becoming GM, she served as Senior Vice President of Power Supply and Market Operations at Austin Energy from 2010 to 2012.

Deputy General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Stuart Reilly, will serve as Interim General Manager.

Interim city manager Jesús Garza released a statement on Sargent's retirement, saying:

"Jackie's trailblazing career spans four decades, and she is nationally recognized as a visionary leader in the electric utility industry. Her focus on safety, renewable energy, operational effectiveness, and the customer experience set Austin Energy on a positive path forward, and I am extremely grateful for her service to our community."

"I wish her all the best in her retirement and am sure she will continue to make valuable contributions to this career field where she has left such an indelible mark."