updated 11/29/2005 9:59:39 AM ET 2005-11-29T14:59:39

Calpine Corp., a major independent U.S. power provider, said Tuesday that its chief executive and founder has left the company, along with its chief financial officer.

"The board believes that these management changes are essential to better address Calpine's financial challenges and to provide a new direction for the company," the company said in a statement.

Calpine did not provide any further reason for the departure of Peter Cartwright, who was chairman, president and CEO, or Robert D. Kelly, its executive vice president and CFO.

The company appointed board member Kenneth T. Derr as chairman and acting chief executive and said it expects to announce a permanent replacement for Cartwright in the near future. Derr was the chief executive of Chevron Corp. from 1989 to 1999.

Eric N. Prior, executive vice president and deputy chief financial officer, was selected as interim CFO.

Calpine has been shedding assets in an attempt to improve its financial condition. The company lost about $242 million in 2004 and $684 million in the first nine months of 2005.

Peter Cartwright founded Calpine in 1984 and had been chairman, president and CEO since 2001. Earlier this year, Cartwright pledged to shed $3 billion in debt this year and trim $200 million from Calpine's annual expenses.

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