CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The largest water utility in West Virginia announced a change in leadership Monday.

Robert Burton has been named the new president of West Virginia American Water Company, according to an announcement from parent company American Water.

Burton will take over for Brian Bruce who recently left the company.

Burton most recently served as senior director of operations for Pennsylvania American Water. He’s been in the utility business for 22 years.

“We are pleased that Robert has taken on this new role at American Water, as he brings decades of experience and knowledge to this position,” American Water Mid-Atlantic Division Senior Vice President Jeff McIntyre said. “I look forward to the leadership he will bring to West Virginia American Water based on his demonstrated success in financial and utility management, employee engagement, customer relations and continuous improvement in both regulated utility and contract operations.”

West Virginia American, based in Charleston, provides water to about 530,000 state residents. The company paid out the majority of a $151 million settlement in 2018 in connection with the 2014 Kanawha Valley water crisis that happened following the spill of the chemical MCHM above the company’s water treatment plant in Charleston. The company was blamed for not being prepared for such an emergency. The company never admitted to wrongdoing but agreed to the settlement.

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