LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Entergy President CEO Hugh McDonald will retire next year and will be replaced by Rick Riley, who has been serving as Entergy Service Inc.’s vice president of transmission, the company said Monday.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Entergy President CEO Hugh McDonald will retire next year and will be replaced by Rick Riley, who has been serving as Entergy Service Inc.’s vice president of transmission, the company said Monday.


McDonald will retire "in the first half of 2016" after 34 years with Entergy, 16 of them as CEO of Arkansas’ largest utility, according to an Entergy Arkansas news release.


The company said Riley has been named group vice president of customer service and operations and will become president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas when McDonald retires. Jim Schott, vice president of supply optimization for Entergy Services Inc., is replacing Riley as vice president of transmission.


Riley’s and Schott’s promotions are effective June 14.


"Hugh’s 34 years of contributions to Entergy and its key stakeholders are immeasurable," said Theo Bunting, group president of utility operations. "At every step of his career, Hugh’s leadership and vision have been instrumental in making the right decisions on so many critical issues. He has been a passionate voice for our Arkansas customers and our employees, and he always acted with integrity, respect and compassion."


McDonald will work with Riley to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.


Entergy Arkansas provides electricity to about 700,000 customers in 63 counties. It is a subsidiary of Entergy Corp., which delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.