SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — NorthWestern Corporation, parent company of HVAC services provider Blue Dot Services Inc., has announced that William M. Austin has been named to the newly created position of chief restructuring officer. Austin reports to Gary G. Drook, chief executive officer of NorthWestern.

In his new role, Austin will spearhead initiatives designed to enhance the operational and financial performance of the company’s regulated utility and nonregulated businesses. His responsibilities include optimizing the use of ongoing cash flows, identifying and executing opportunities to generate cash from nonstrategic assets, and reducing costs. He will also oversee the company’s ongoing assessment of various operational and strategic alternatives.

"We are delighted to welcome Bill to our executive team,” said Drook. “Bill’s extensive financial and operational experience combined with his knowledge of the energy and telecommunications industries will be integral to leading our turnaround initiatives.”

Austin added, "I look forward to working with Gary and the management team to realize NorthWestern’s turnaround plan objectives and ensure the company’s long-term financial health and stability."

Publication date: 04/07/2003