Cadiz Inc. on Thursday announced that its board has named President Scott Slater as chief executive, succeeding longtime CEO and co-founder Keith Brackpool.

The Los Angeles renewable resources company, which hopes to store and pipe water from aquifers under its land in the Mojave Desert to serve urban Southern California, said Slater will start in his new position on Feb. 1

Slater, a current board member, has been with Cadiz since 2008 when he was named general counsel to oversee land and water resource management activities, including development of the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery and Storage Project. As president, he has been leading the project's economic and preconstruction phase.

Brackpool has been chief executive since 1991 and will remain board chairman after the change. He became a controversial figure for the company after making large campaign contributions to both former governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He also has been an ally of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, accompanying him on several trips.

Brackpool had become a lightning rod for critics of Cadiz’s water storage proposals until Slater was named as president two years ago. This latest move represents a further sidelining of Brackpool from company operations as its latest water storage project faces federal government regulatory approvals and likely court action.

Cadiz shares closed up 4 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $7.39 on the Nasdaq.

Staff reporter Howard Fine contributed to this story.