Trump to remove two members of Tennessee Valley Authority Board, criticizes CEO
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Monday he was formally removing two members from the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and criticized its chief executive as overpaid.
In remarks during a White House event, Trump threatened to remove the agency's chief executive, Jeff Lyash, and called on the utility's board to do so. Trump has previously been critical of the agency and threatened firm disciplinary action against it.
The TVA had previously come under criticism by U.S. Tech workers, a nonprofit formed to fight the growth of H1-B1 visas to foreign workers. The group appealed to Trump, who has the authority to appoint the TVA board, to fire Lyash for laying off U.S. workers and replacing them with contractors hiring foreign workers, airing an ad on cable television.
The Chattanooga Free Press reported in June that TVA had laid off 62 IT workers in Chattanooga and Knoxville as it moved to outsource more data and programming work.
Later on at the same event, Trump said he had been informed that Lyash had contacted the White House and indicated a strong willingness to reverse course. The TVA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump has also sparred with the TVA in the past over its efforts to close coal-fired power plants. He has also previously proposed selling parts of the government-owned entity to the private sector.
The U.S. Tech workers' group aired an ad on cable television that said Lyash received an $8.1 million compensation package, making him the "highest-paid federal employee in America."
Trump said the position was overpaid, and the CEO should not make more than $500,000 annually.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Pete Schroeder and Andrea Shalal; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Tom Brown)
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