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Friday, July 18, 2014

Michael Geisler named Atlanta's next chief operating officer

Chief Operating Officer Michael Geisler
Mayor Kasim Reed has announced that Michael Geisler, Atlanta's interim chief operating officer for the past five months, will be his permanent pick for one of the city's top positions.

In his permanent role, Geisler will be responsible for overseeing the city's daily operations. He'll also be tasked with leading Reed's top initiatives such as assembling a $250 million infrastructure bond package; managing the Atlanta Streetcar, launching the city's 311 system; and figuring out what to do with the Civic Center, Turner Field, and Underground Atlanta. Deputy COOs Hans Utz, Tom Weyandt, and Kristin Canavan Wilson will continue to support Geisler in his position.

“Mike Geisler’s strong financial and operational experience has been a tremendous asset to the City in his interim role for the past six months,” Reed said in a statement. “His deep understanding of finance, combined with his effective and efficient management, provides our team with the leadership necessary to accomplish my second term priorities, including significant redevelopment of city assets, implementation of the Waste & Efficiency Commission’s recommendations and spearheading the $150 to $250 million infrastructure bond offering.”

Back in February, Geisler became the city's interim COO following the departure of former COO Duriya Farooqui, who accepted a senior-level role with international consulting firm Bain and Company. Geisler first came on board with the city two years ago as the Department of Watershed Management's deputy commissioner and chief financial officer. In that role, he was credited with refinancing more than $500 million of the department's debt — a move that the city says has saved an estimated $12 million — and improving its credit ratings.

“Mayor Reed has given me a clear mandate to make his second term the most productive second term in the history of our City,” Geisler said. “We’re not going to rest in our efforts to continue creating jobs, spurring economic development and improving delivery of services to our citizens. Public service is important to me and I’m honored to be chosen by the Mayor to lead this work.”

The Atlanta City Council will need to approve Geisler's promotion to make the decision official. If approved, he'll join Atlanta Airport General Manager Miguel Southwell as the second interim department head to land a permanent role in recent months.

Reed still needs to fill top positions with the city's communications, parks, and economic development departments. Send your resumes to @KasimReed!

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