Former Edison CEO named to Commerce Department

John Bryson, former chairman and CEO of Edison International (NYSE: EIX), was nominated by President Obama to be the new Secretary of the Department of Commerce. Bryson will succeed Gary Locke, who was nominated in March to be the new ambassador to China. Bryson faces confirmation from the Senate.

Bryson most recently was chairman of BrightSource Energy Inc. Earlier this year the company received a $1.6 billion loan from the Department of Energy to build its 392 MW Ivanpah project in the Mojave Desert. Construction started in October 2010. The company filed in April to raise $250 million in an initial public offering.

Bryson also is the former president of the California Public Utilities Commission and a former chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board. He retired from Edison International in 2008 after 17 years as CEO.

President Obama's choice of a business executive as Commerce secretary reportedly is a move to repair relations between the White House and the business community. The President has reportedly sought to reach out to more CEOs and business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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