Ken Griffin of Hillsborough County, Fla., has been hired to lead the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority.
He replaces Dean Moss, who is retiring after 25 years as the authority's general manager.
Griffin, 61, is scheduled to start his new job Aug. 29.
He has worked for Hillsborough County since 2006, first as assistant county administrator and then as chief of operations and management for the county's utility division. Before that, Griffin led the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District, which is Mississippi's largest water utility.
Griffin said the opportunity to lead the Beaufort-Jasper authority, which he said is well-run and respected by peers, immediately caught his attention.
"In my business, it's certainly one of those utilities you're well aware of," he said.
Griffin, who will receive a starting salary of about $140,000, said he thinks highly of the authority and doesn't plan major changes.
The authority has about 160 employees and supplies drinking water to more than 45,000 customers.
Griffin is the No. 2 official at Hillsborough County's utility.
He holds the professional engineer designation and has a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of California at Irvine; a master's degree in water chemistry and biology from Cornell University; a master's in civil engineering from the University of Southern California; and a doctorate in leadership and administration from the University of Mississippi. He also has completed a program in strategic public sector negotiation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
"We are excited about the arrival of Mr. Griffin," Brandy Gray, chair of BJWSA's board, said in a news release. "He has a proven track record of excellent leadership, and his extensive experience in the utility industry will be an asset for us."
Moss felt it was time for "another adventure" after helping to build the authority from a relatively small utility to one of the largest in the state, communications manager Matthew Brady said.
Moss could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday.
He said in the release that he will miss the authority but is "confident that BJWSA will continue to perform remarkably well because of its outstanding staff and because of its new, well-prepared leader."
Griffin and his wife, Connie, have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.