BC Hydro's president and CEO has quit, a little more than a year after taking the job, as the Crown-owned utility works toward a cost-cutting reorganization aimed at ensuring power rates stay low.

Dave Cobb took the job in a high-profile announcement in May 2010.

For the six years previous, he helped steer financing for the Vancouver Olympics as deputy CEO of the organizing committee. Before that, he had an executive role with the company that owned the Vancouver Canucks.

Hydro said in a news release Wednesday that Cobb was leaving to take a job with the Jim Pattison Group, an opportunity Cobb said he couldn't pass up.

"BC Hydro helped build our province and I've truly been honoured to lead the team during such an exciting and important time in our history," Cobb said in the news release.

"And while I would welcome the opportunity to continue meeting the challenges and opportunities inherent in my role, I've been presented with an unexpected, once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity with another iconic B.C. company."

His departure comes amid cost-cutting measures being implemented at Hydro after a government review panel that recommended Hydro cut up to 1,200 jobs, among other things.

The review was ordered by the provincial government after a public outcry that followed Hydro's announcement it wanted to hike rates by about 10 per cent in each of the next three years.

The review report was released in August and the Crown corporation said it would reduce its rate increase request to the utilities commission, asking instead for an eight-per-cent increase this year, and 3.9 per cent in each of the following two years.

Cobb wouldn't commit to the recommended number of job cuts.

Instead, the utility agreed to cut its expenses by more than $800 million over three years by putting some projects on hold and making changes to how it awards contracts and manages its finances.

Energy Minister Rich Coleman said in a release Wednesday that Cobb's leadership through the Hydro review set the stage for low electricity rates in B.C.

"I want to thank Dave for his dedication and service to BC Hydro," he said in the release.

Cobb will stay on with the company until the end of November and Hydro will appoint an interim CEO while it seeks a new chief executive.