EPM announces new manager in record time

Company News    Apr 14, 2021 4:06 PM

Engineer Jorge Carrillo took office as the new General Manager of EPM.

This after the EPM Board of Directors unanimously recommended his appointment to the Mayor of Medellín, according to a press release.

“Jorge Andrés is a civil engineer and environmental engineer from the Universidad de los Andes, with a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the same university,” EPM said.

Carrillo was Vice Minister of Water and Basic Sanitation, Counselor of the Directing Council of the Colombian Geological Service, Counselor of the National Water Council, Counselor of the National Environmental Council and Member of the Intersectoral Commission on Climate Change.

The new CEO was advisor to the High Presidential Counselor for the Regions, environmental coordinator, and Delegate Superintendent for Aqueducts, among other public posts.

“Carrillo has been a national and international speaker on topics such as: water security, sectoral policies of public services, regulate on of domestic public services, circular economy, sustainable development and mobility,” EPM said.

The entity explained that a former member of the Board can be appointed Manager in accordance with article 10 of Decree Law 128 of 1976, and in accordance with the concept 11001-03-06000-2018-00160-00 of the Council of State, Chamber of Consultation and Civil Service. Until his appointment as Manager, Carrillo was one of the replacements brought in when the entire previous board resigned in a power struggle with Medellin’s Mayor.

“For me it is an honor to manage EPM. All my life I have admired the company and being in charge is a great challenge. I hope that we continue working with the talent of EPM and the Board so that more and more Colombians have better services,” Carrillo said.

Bottom-Line: The search for a new manager took two months, and the selected candidate ended up embroiled in scandals over his college degrees.

Now, the company in less than 12 hours finds a new candidate. It seems like the controversies at EPM are far from over…

The somewhat unusual paragraph for a press release about a State Council decision has to do with a Colombian law (128 of 1976) which, at face value, says that a board member of a public institution cannot take a paid position at the same entity until one year has passed from stepping down. Obviously, this is not the case for Carrillo who was a board member until microseconds before being appointed Manager. The State Council decision cited says this restriction only applies to contractors, not to staff positions as would be the case here.

But given how many enemies Mayor Daniel Quintero has made in the paisa establishment, expect this to go as high in the courts as it can before Carrillo can sleep easily in his new role.

The bigger question is, once again, the slap-dash way of dealing with important issues like appointing the leader of one of the most important companies in the country. A head-hunting firm finds 40 candidates and recommends the one with limited management experience and fake qualifications who just happens to be a friend of the Mayor. He quits and it takes the Board less than 12 hours to appoint his replacement – from within the Board – who presumably voted in favor of the disgraced candidate in the first instance.

The new leader has experience as a serial consultant and board member but has apparently never run anything larger than the Vice Ministry of Water and Sanitation in the national government. Since Water and Sanitation are largely municipal concerns, this could not have been difficult.

Meantime there are thousands of people living downstream from a controversial dam project under this person’s management. If it breaks, many of them will die.

If the project does not come in on time, the country could have blackouts.

On an everyday basis, he is responsible for water, power and sanitation of the country’s second largest city.

This is serious.

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