Michael Watson has retired as president/CEO at Duck River EMC, Shelbyville, Tenn.

According to a news release, Watson’s retirement took effect Jan. 11, two days after the cooperative’s board of directors accepted his request to retire. Though he will step down as president/CEO, he will serve in an advisory capacity until June 30.

Watson’s interim successor is Charles McDonald, who retired from Duck River EMC in 2011. He logged 37 years at the cooperative, most recently as its director of member services. Per the Duck River EMC announcement, the board will launch a CEO search as soon as is feasible.

“We are grateful for the 27 years of service that Michael has dedicated to Duck River Electric,” said Barry Cooper, the cooperative’s board chair. “He has led DREMC through an important period of change in the cooperative business, including implementing an advanced meter infrastructure and installing a fiber backbone that is preparing the cooperative for broadband options.

“He has also demonstrated valuable leadership within the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association and the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association,” Cooper said, “as well as with the TVA Rates and Contracts process.”

Watson took over as Duck River EMC’s chief executive in 2013. He began his career with the cooperative in 1992 as an engineer. He was later named a district manager, then served as operations director prior to being named vice president in 2012.